Russell Wayne Messenger


Russell "Rusty" Wayne Messenger, 89, of Riverton, Kan., passed from this life to be with his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at Higher Call Nursing Center, Quapaw, Okla.
Rusty was born on March 21, 1929, in Galena, Kan., to the union of Dola and Velva (Wade) Messenger. Rusty was a lifelong resident of Baxter Springs, Kan. and Riverton. He graduated from Riverton High School with the class of 1947. He was then drafted into the United States Army, serving from 1951-1953 in the Korean War.
Upon returning from the service, he was united in marriage to Kathryn (Owens) in 1953.
He worked at the Louis Price Clothing Store, in Baxter Springs, and was later employed by Yellow Freight Systems in sales, retiring in 1986. Rusty served on the Baxter Springs School Board from 1971-1975. He attended Forest Park Baptist Church, in Joplin, Mo., for many years.
Rusty was united in marriage to Charlene (Amos) Messenger on May 14, 1977, in Miami, Okla. She preceded him in death in 2011.
Rusty was later married to Margie (Bowman) Messenger in February 2012. She survives of the home.
Additional survivors include four daughters, Mary Beth Smith and husband, Bruce, of Baxter Springs, Judy Messenger (Debbie Bird), of Weatherby Lake, Mo., Elayne Delmont and husband, Scott, of Denison, Texas, and Jayma Brown, of Joplin; five grandchildren, Dr. Cameron Smith and wife, Emily, of Overland Park, Kan., Kyle Wade and wife, Tara, of Baxter Springs, Megan and husband, Dr. Ryan Sorell, of Granger, Ind., Austin Brown, of Joplin, and Addison Brown, of Joplin; seven great-grandchildren, Kaylynn, Sydney, Braydon, Bradley, Neely, Nolan, and Walker.
Rusty is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Charlene Messenger; grandson, Dr. Preston Smith.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 16, at Forest Park Baptist Church, Joplin. Pastor John Swadley will officiate. Family will receive friends from 7-8 p.m., Friday, March 15, at Derfelt's Baxter Chapel. Pallbearers for the service are Bruce Smith, Dr. Cameron Smith, Kyle Wade, Keith Wade, Scott Delmont, and Austin Brown. Honorary pallbearers will be Max Martin, Sonny McGregor, Dewayne Treece, and Dr. Ryan Sorell.
Arrangements are under the direction of Derfelt's Baxter Chapel.
Online condolences may be expressed at
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Published on March 15, 2019
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1 posts

Terry Klaus
Mar 17, 2019
Rest in peace Rusty.