The Obit For Don Messel

Donald Charles Messel

The Vincennes Sun Commercial, 1/24/2009

Donald Charles Messel of Bruceville went to be with the Lord with his family at his side at 4:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 23, 2009, at IU-Med. Hospital in Indianapolis. He was 76 years old.

He was born Jan. 26, 1932, in Bicknell, the only son of Charles and Agnes (Reynolds) Messel. Don was a standout athlete for the Edwardsport Powers, starting three years on the varsity basketball team.

He played on the Bicknell men's baseball team, joining them at the age of 14, and was also was an outstanding player in the Bicknell Men's Fast Pitch Softball League in the late 1940s.

In 1950 he was one of the top pitchers on Vincennes American Legion baseball team.

In 1951 he pitched professional baseball for the Vincennes Velvets. The Velvets were a minor league team for the St. Louis Browns of the American League.

Don served in the Air Force in 1952 during the Korean War and then took a job working for the railroad. Don retired from the insurance business after almost 40 years as a sales representative.

Over the years Don also continued to play both baseball and softball and last played at the age of 58. Don coached baseball over the years. He coached the Bicknell High School Summer League baseball team and the Bruceville Pee Wee League and the Little League for several years. Later on he also helped coach his grandsons' baseball teams.

Don had fun at his daily "meetings" with his buddies at Barney's Mini Mart in Bruceville. He was a member of the Bicknell United Methodist Church and served as trustee and an usher.

Don is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 56 years, Gwen (Sage) Messel. They were married April 26, 1952. He is also survived by his three children, son Randy Messel and his wife, Debbie, son Jeff Messel and his, wife Ruth, and daughter Jan (Messel) Spanger and her husband, John Spanger. Don was also extremely proud of his grandchildren, Abby (Spanger) Hartwick and her husband, Ryan; Donald Messel and his wife, Carrie; Annie Messel, Keith Messel, Brandon Spanger; Brad Coats and his wife, Angie; and Sara Lemons and her husband, Carl. Don's beloved great-grandchildren are Kylee Messel, Brennan Messel, Evan Hartwick, Caleb Lemons, Camden Lemons and Lilly Coats. He is also survived by his aunt, Mildred Bailey; and several cousins.

Graveside services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bicknell Memorial Cemetery, with Pastor Sharon Baker officiating. He will be laid to rest in the Bicknell Memorial Cemetery with military graveside honors by the All Weather Firing Squad.

The family will receive friends at the Duesterberg-Fredrick Wampler Shaw Chapel from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the North Knox Social Ministries.