Martha Frances (Easton) Messner

Published 12:19 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dec. 16, 1945-June 11, 2023


It is with great sadness that the family of Martha Frances Messner announce her passing on  June 11th, 2023, at the age of 77 after a short illness.

Martha passed away peacefully at Evanston Hospital in the company of her two children.  She will be greatly missed by her son John (of Stewarton, Scotland), his wife Heather and their two daughters Martha and Sadie, as well as her daughter Jennifer Hoover (of Morton Grove, Illinois) her husband Leonard and their two children, Gemma and Gavin.

Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Billy and Lillian (nee Flora) Easton, Martha grew up in Dowagiac, Michigan.  She graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in teaching.  She was married in 1974 to Frank Paul Messner, Jr.  of Muskegon, Michigan, who preceded her in death in 1995.  They lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she worked as a teacher. Martha was a well-known volunteer with Spectrum Health’s Child and Family Life Program for many, many years, where she loved helping to comfort and entertain children who were hospitalized for extended periods of time with acute illnesses.

She had one sister, Carol Zepik of Zeeland, Michigan, whom she loved dearly.  Both Carol and her husband George preceded her in death and Martha will be greatly missed by their children Erika McCombs and Samuel Zepik and their families, as well as many other cousins and relatives around Michigan and beyond.

Prior to moving to Evanston, IL in 2018, to be closer to her daughter, Martha was a member of Cascade Christian Church where she enjoyed playing bells in the services at Christmas time.

Martha’s Celebration of Life service will be officiated by Jill Forton of Cascade Christian Church and will be held on Friday July 7th at Ofield Funeral Home, 4500 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI. Friends and family are welcome to gather and visit 1-3 p.m., with the memorial service beginning at 3 p.m.

If you knew Martha, you undoubtedly knew that purple was her “signature color.” As such, everyone attending her memorial is encouraged to wear purple as we celebrate the life of this lovely lady.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to be directed to the Spectrum Health Foundation, Child and Family Life Program.  Please find details on the website,, then click on ’Give a Gift’ and select Child and Family Life.  Alternatively, the mailing address is:

Spectrum Health-Corewell Foundation, Child and Family Life, 100 Michigan Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49503