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Oct. 18, 1950-Dec. 3, 2019

Longtime Butte resident Sandra Rush Messer unexpectedly passed away in her home on December 3 at the age of 69. She was born to Keith and Leah Rush on October 18, 1950, in Butte, Montana. She was the oldest of six children.

Sandy grew up and attended schools in Butte. After graduating from Butte High School, she continued her education at Ricks College for two years and then moved on to BYU where she graduated with her bachelor's degree in Sociology. After moving back to Butte, she met and married Larry McGrath. They had their first and only daughter, Amy L. McGrath. They divorced, thank the Lord. Later, while working at Stauffer Chemical, she met the love of her life, Edwin Messer. In August of 1983 they ran off to Idaho in a shotgun wedding. This union endowed the responsibility of being a stepmother to three more daughters. The union also formed a tight bond between Edwin and Sandy’s daughters who were unwaveringly united against their parental oppressors.

Growing up in Butte, Sandy worked alongside her family at their business, Rush’s Pies. She had many interests throughout her lifetime. Anyone who knew her will always remember her for her sense of humor, wit, and the fact she had a pill for everything. She was an avid reader and never went anywhere without a book. Sandy enjoyed barrel racing in her youth and always loved her horses and dogs. She had a knack for decorating and planning parties. She always looked forward to the holidays because she loved to shop, wrap all the gifts beautifully, and decorate the tree. Anyone who received a gift from Sandy most likely recalls the presentation of the gift over the contents. She spent several years decorating the tree on the behalf of Spherion for the parade of trees held in uptown Butte every year. 

Sandy was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She worked in a variety of callings throughout her lifetime. In later years, she volunteered her time to helping others at the Butte Food Bank. Sandy was also a proud member of the Chateau Quilt Guild.

Sandy was preceded in death by her stepdaughter, Jeannette Walters, and her father, Keith Rush. 

Sandy is survived by her husband, Edwin Messer; daughters, Amy (TJ)  McGrath/Keefe, Jolene (Gimel) Messer-Uc, and Jill (Brad) Blythe; mother, Leah Rush; brother, Kevin (Donna) Rush; sisters, Nancy (Therrill) Mayes, Colleen Whyte, Connie (Jeffery) Kaiser, and MaryKaye (Patrick) Ames. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m., Monday, December 9, 2019 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family will receive friends from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. for viewing. Reception will be held back at the church following the services. 

Because of Sandy’s love for helping others at the food bank, we kindly ask that in lieu of flowers, please donate to the Butte Food Bank. Express condolences at www.wayrynen-richards.com.

To plant a tree in memory of Sandra Messer as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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