Lester Robert ‘Les’ Messner
Lester Robert “Les” Messner, 83, passed peacefully away in his Klamath Falls home on Feb. 16, 2012. Les was born May 7, 1928, in Birdsboro, Penn., the youngest of six children of Harry and Martha (Griffith) Messner.
Les was an avid mechanic from an early age, and was able to intelligently discuss and troubleshoot all kinds of mechanical problems. He happily worked on most everything Detroit built. Some of his favorite memories included working on antique cars such as a Willys Knight and, never having seen one before, being able to figure out the set-up, wiring and tuning of a dual-ignition Chrysler Hemi boat engine. Mechanical “puzzles” were his forte.
In 1950 Les joined the Navy and served aboard LST 762. When he left the Navy in 1954, he lived in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, working as a mechanic at several garages. It was there he had met and eventually married Frances Frachtling; they were subsequently divorced.
He moved to Bishop in 1960, where he lived until 1995. In Bishop, after working for several local dealerships, he was employed by, and retired from the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power as a light duty mechanic. Bishop was his perfect home location at the time as it provided easy access to his favorite recreations: hunting and fishing. It was in Bishop that he joined the American Legion, the Elks and the VFW, becoming a lifetime member of VFW and the Elks.
Les relocated to the Klamath Basin in 1995, to be closer to his daughter and her family when his son-in-law retired from the Navy and their family moved to Klamath Falls.
Survivors include his daughters and their husbands, Leslie and John W. Foster, III of Klamath Falls and Tammie and J. Buford Shannon of Missouri; his grandchildren, John W. Foster, IV and Shawn, Andrew, Brandon and Kimberly Shannon. He is also survived by three great granddaughters and one great grandson. Special friends John and Patty Gettle of Idaho; special niece, Joyce Stump; and other extended family in Pennsylvania including his sister, Mildred survive him also.
Les’ last wishes were that disposition be by cremation, and no funeral or memorial service be held.
Les’ family extends their heartfelt thanks to Klamath Hospice, Carol F, Home Instead Senior Care and Davenport’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd for the compassionate end-of-life care each provided.
Memorial donations may be made to Klamath Hospice, VFW or the Elks, or to an organization of the donor’s choice.