Charlotte Fox Messmer

September 28, 2021
Charlotte Fox Messmer

September 28, 2021, my mother, Charlotte Fox Messmer, passed peacefully away at the age of 79. In her last moments on earth, I sat by her side and held her hand while she slipped into a new and perfect Home. She was and always will be, a classy, beautiful lady, inside and out.

Mama was born in Fulton, KY on January 28, 1942 and spent her childhood in Paducah, KY with her mother, Imogene Smiley Fox and Father, William Fox, as well as her beloved surviving brother and twin sisters, Jim Fox, Susan Wood and Ann Cothran. She left Paducah after marrying her still surviving husband, Donald Joseph Messmer on May 28, 1965 and moved to St. Louis, MO. In 1972, they moved to Williamsburg, VA, where they resided together for more than 40 years. In 1974, they welcomed me, Angeline Charlotte, into the world. As a screaming and sometimes hot-tempered red head, my parents declared “one was enough.” They gave me a loving and caring childhood, complete with treehouses, tea parties and late summer nights chasing lightning bugs. I was and am delightfully spoiled rotten by their love.

Mama welcomed a new son, James “Jimmy” Robert Cooke, Jr., into her life on July 3, 1999 at our wedding. She soon became known as “Grandmother” on February 28, 2001 to her first grandchild, William Spencer Cooke, followed by 2 more grandchildren, Patrick Messmer Cooke and Grace Ann Cooke. She spent hours filling sippy cups, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and teaching them to play music with a wooden spoon and an old pot. She was blessed to share a moment with each of our children before moving on to her new life.

When asked “What did your mom do?”, I was momentarily stumped. What didn’t she do? She was an artist, with a passion for painting and collecting all works of art. She was an author. Mama helped write several books with her sisters, as well as writing a number of short stories, journals, and a children’s book. She was a decorator. She was a chef. She was a master gardener, carefully cultivating the land she and Daddy bought all those years ago into a lush and peaceful English garden. She was a storyteller and lover of animals, weaving fantastic tidbits of the adventures the birds, squirrels and rabbits had in her backyard. She was a bookkeeper. She was a wife and ultimately the caretaker of my Daddy in her later years. She made things pretty. She was a mama; my classy, beautiful mama. May you rest in peace Mama, now that you are with your Savior. I love you.

Please join us in celebrating her life on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Williamsburg Community Chapel, followed by internment at Williamsburg Memorial Cemetery.

Despite her generous love of flowers, please consider giving in her memory to the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY (https://theyeiser.org/sponsorship/), the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/give/?from=navgive) or the American Cancer Society (https://www.cancer.org/).


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  • October 07, 2021
    Mary Jean Hurst says:
    Angeline, my heart was warmed to hear the beautiful obituary of your mother. I have family from Paducah, and I never realized that connection until I read this. I worked with your dad many years ago to help start up Housing Partnerships, a local nonprofit in town, and while I never knew your mom, it sounds like she was an amazing lady. Please accept my sincere sympathies. I work for Child Development Resources. You may have read that we are renovating the former Messmer Historic Triangle Community Resources Center, which as you know well was named after your dad. We are so proud to be carrying on the important work your folks established to help those in the community who need assistance. I would love to connect over coffee once your life settles back down. I know things must be difficult right now.

  • October 26, 2021
    Jesse and Pam C. says:
    As long-time neighbors of Char and Don, we are saddened to hear of Char’s passing. We enjoyed our conversations over the years, and were always amazed at her bountiful energy maintaining their immaculate garden. She sent beautiful handmade Christmas cards, depicting silhouettes of her grandchildren of whom she was clearly proud. Char will be greatly missed.