He was born Feb. 29, 1928, in Rexford, Kan. to Mike Messer and Georgia Pearl McLaughlin. Married Lela Rae Murdock May 23, 1953. She preceded him in death June 8, 1992. Married Patricia Darlin Evans in the Jordan River Temple Feb. 24, 1995.
He worked on local farms and the railroad as a young boy. He joined the U.S. Army in 1945 (he lied about his age!). He served in Korea, occupation of Japan and later in nuclear weapons. He retired as a CWO3 in 1965. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, participated in temple groups and served an inner city mission in the Liberty Stake in Salt Lake City. He was known to many as “Ben the Tax Man” for 39 years.
Ben is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters, Linda (Dean) Flannery, Cheryl (Larry) Morgan, Lori (Dave) Woolridge, and son Michael (Jeannie) Messer, all of Tooele; grandchildren, Kelly Chance, Patrick and Brian Flannery, Jennifer Leavitt, Angie Bunn, Michael, Matthew and Nikki Stratton, Michael, Jeffery and Jayna Messer. Great-grandchildren Taylor and Morgan Leavitt, Kaylee Bunn, Mikey Stratton and Alaura Chance.
Stepchildren Marcus (Cheryl), Sadja, Sherry, Sharon, Tara, Jared (Jennifer), Jason, Alyssa and Joel Zahne. And even more grandchildren, Lindsey, Cody, Aaron and Paige Zahne; Breanna, Rodgerick, Bradley and Daryan Williams; Charolette, Chris and Bryana Hansen; Elizabeth, Jaden and Chase Zahne.
A celebration of his life will be held Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Shadows Third Ward, 8136 S. Old Bingham Highway (3400 West), West Jordan. A viewing will be held Sunday, Feb. 27, at Tate Mortuary, Tooele, from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be Monday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m., Tooele North Stake Center 583 N. 270 East. Friends may call prior to services 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.