James David Messersmith
James David Messersmith
  • September 14, 1931 - November 4, 2017
  • Pacific Grove, California

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James David Messersmith
September 14, 1931 ~ November 4, 2017
Pacific Grove

James "Jim" D. Messersmith, a native of Paintsville, Kentucky, passed away peacefully at home after several months of battling liver cancer. He was a 1949 graduate of Stephen W. Kearny Junior-Senior High School in San Diego and received both his Bachelor's (1953) and Master's Degrees (1955) in Fisheries from Oregon State University.

While in college, Jim joined ROTC receiving his commission in 1953. He served in the Air Force in Germany with the 601st AC&W Squadron. He then began a thirty-six year career as a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Jim was an advocate for the outdoors and wildlife preservation as well as conservation education serving as a twenty-year volunteer for the Tuna Research Conservation Center of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and as a member of the board of directors for the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. He also volunteered for IHELP and St. Phillip's Food Bank, loved gardening and reading, and was an avid fan of the Oregon State University Beavers. Jim was well-known for his cultivation of his berry patch for the coveted "Opa Jam".

Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Elviera Messersmith; his children: Eric Messersmith of Depoe Bay, OR, Kristina Messersmith of Gold River, CA, Martin (Karen) Messersmith of Stockton, CA and Charles (Susan) Messersmith of Charleston, SC; his grandchildren; Ryan and Katelyn (Martin), Cassandra and Annika (Kristina), Andrew (Charles); his brother, Frank Messersmith of Cupertino, CA and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Lewis and Agnes Messersmith and his sisters, Phyllis Bryan and Margaret Elliott.

Funeral services will take place this Friday, November 10, 2017 at 11am at First United Methodist Church ("the Butterfly Church") in Pacific Grove, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203 or First United Methodist Church of Pacific Grove, 915 Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950. Please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com to sign James' guest book and leave messages for his family.

Arrangements under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, Pacific Grove, CA.