Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 12:36:49 :
Thursday, August 14, 1941
Hundreds Attend Last Rites For Rodney E. Messner Today
Fellow county officials were pallbearers today at the funeral service for County Surveyor Rodney E. Messner, who died in a hospital here early Tuesday morning, after a short illness.
Services were held at Keaton’s Mortuary, where Rev. Ernest Bradley, former rector of the Episcopal Church here, and a friend of the deceased, spoke eloquent words in tribute to the memory of Mr. Messner. Mrs. Mary Ardath of San Anselmo sang during the impressive services.
Following the service at 11 o’clock this morning, the long funeral cortege moved to Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery where entombment was made in the mausoleum.
Flags at Court House and City Hall were at half mast from early Tuesday morning until after the funeral, which was one of the largest ever held in this city.
Friends and associates from all over the county attended the last rites of a man who had given efficient and faithful service in his 27 years of public service.
They recalled Mr. Messner as a man of high type, thorough in his work as county surveyor, and they admired him for his faithful devotion to a stricken wife.
Falling under the heavy strain, Mr. Messner was taken to the hospital a week ago Wednesday, suffering from a dangerous abdominal infection. His condition was too serious for physicians to attempt an operation, and the family was told he could not live.
He lingered on for six days, with doctors and nurses working over him, but to no avail, and the patient who but a short time previously was active about his work, breathed his last.
Rodney Messner was 49 years of age. He was born in Geyserville and came to San Rafael as a boy of 16. He set out for a career as an engineer, and one of his first jobs was in connection with the construction of Alpine Dam.
When t his undertaking was completed he became a member of the engineering staff of the N.W.P. Still later he joined the engineer division of the department of state highways, and was assigned resident engineer for a road from Waldo Point to Sausalito. He also supervised the construction of the Black Point cut-off.
An opportunity came in 1926 for him to become county surveyor. He was successful in the election and had held this position since January, 1927.
The first years of his work as surveyor were most difficult. He came into office at the time of a bond issue for road improvement totaling $1,500,000 had been voted, and it was his responsibility to carry out the engineering features of this work.
Among the projects were the Sir Francis Drake Highway and other roads about Novato and in the Pt. Reyes-Nicasio section.
During the past several years he had spent much time and study to the Whites Hill road and finally, after consulting with State and Federal engineers, ordered drain pipes installed on the long fill, for which he received commendation from leading engineers of the State.
Besides his wife, Mrs. Regina C. Messner (the former Miss Kappenmann) he leaves his mother, Mrs. Fannie Messner, and a brother, Clinton Messner, both of Santa Rosa.
Mr. Messner was a member of Marin Lodge No. 191, F. & A.M.; Arch Masons, Islam Temple, San Rafael Pyramid of Scots, San Rafael Lodge, B. P. O. E., Tamalpais Parlor, Native Sons, and the Marin Rod and Gun Club.
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