Judith Carol Foss Messer


Judith Carol Foss Messer, 80, passed away on Oct. 25 after suffering with dementia for more than a decade.

Judie was born to Kern Foss and Marion Reed Foss on Sept. 6, 1939, and spent much of her childhood with brother Bob and sister Joanie at the family home in Bangor, the site of many family holidays.

She also spent many fond days with cousins Mary Maddocks, Dougie Skofield and Donnie Smith at “the farm” in Franklin. Her best friend at Bangor High School was Betty (England) Von Tobel.

After graduating in 1957, Judie married Ernie Messer in 1959. The couple had two children, Karen and Jill, then moved to Ellsworth, where their third child, Mark, was born.

The neighborhood was special to Judie. The Beers, Carter and Bauersfeld families were especially important. There was a lot of laughter in those lifelong friendships. One summer at Seal Harbor beach, she and neighbor Alicia wore straw hats with notes in the bands that said “PRESS” and proceeded to interview tourists.

Judie and Ernie were square dancers until Judie took a job at Mr. Paperback in the ’70s. She went on to work at many area businesses and is remembered for her kindness and sense of humor.

Judie was an Al-Anon and Alateen leader and helped many cope with the ravages of alcohol addiction.

As a result of the sudden death of daughter Karen in 1989, which hit Judie particularly hard, she stepped up to help raise granddaughter Emily and grandson Justin. She also helped lead a local chapter of Compassionate Friends for parents who’ve lost children.

Like many marriages, Judie and Ernie’s had its ups and downs, but in hindsight, it is likely that the early stages of dementia led to events that resulted in their divorce in 2003.

Judie is survived by brother Robert Foss and wife, Marilyn, of Madison, Wis.; sister Joan Decato and husband, Herb, of McMurray, Pa.; daughter Jill Abbott of Bucksport; son Mark Messer of Ellsworth; grandchildren Emily Sikorski and husband, Tony, of Moon Township, Pa., Justin Carter of Flemington, N.J., Brandy Abbott of Orland, Tiffany Abbott and partner Christopher Wood of Hancock, and Sarah Abbott and partner Logan Reynolds of Bucksport; seven great-grandchildren; and countless cousins, nieces and nephews.

Friends and relatives are invited to Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth, Saturday, Nov. 2, from 1-3 p.m. to visit, eat some of Judie’s favorite foods and share stories. Mark will open the story telling at 1:45. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an addiction treatment program of your choice or to the Ellsworth Garden Club, c/o Mark Messer, 5 Cooks Lane, Ellsworth, ME 04605.

Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.

Know when to pay your respects.