Cover photo for Douglas R. Sandy Messer's Obituary
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1943 Douglas R. Sandy Messer 2023

Douglas R. Sandy Messer

March 10, 1943 — November 19, 2023


Douglas R. Sandy Messer passed away peacefully on November 19, 2023 at the age of 80 in Knoxville, TN. 

Sandy was born in 1943 at the mouth of Jenkins Branch in Bryson City, NC to Daisy Dixie (Rogers) Messer and O. Earl Messer. A graduate of Swain County High School and Western Carolina University (B.S., Chemistry), Sandy was the primary production engineer at Singer Furniture in Bryson City for much of his career until the plant closure in the late eighties. He then moved to Silver Furniture Company in Knoxville as the engineering manager until 2000. After a series of moves and various additional short careers, he returned to Knoxville in 2019. 

When he lived in Bryson City, Sandy participated in the Bryson City Jaycees (where he was president during 1975-1976) and the Swain County High School Vocational Advisory Committee. Most of all, he was a beloved classmate, coworker, husband, father, and friend.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother James H. Sonny Messer, his wife Janice (McWhirter), his wife Phyllis (Shippy), and his stepdaughter Leah Shippy. He is survived by his children: Bronson (Marissa), Cassandra, and Damian; his grandchildren: Grace Messer and Dorothy Messer; his stepchildren: Anita King, Rachel Chima, Deborah Vauls, David (Ebony) Shippy, and Daniel Shippy; eleven step-grandchildren: Chanel Alvarez, Blaise Merrill, William Merrill, R. Amala Chima, CeeJay Chima, Lillie Chima, Joseph Chima, Diontez McGee, Michaela Crew, Amari Shippy, and Aaliyah Shippy; and two step-great-grandchildren: Elijah McGee and Dasauni McGee. 

No service is planned at this time. In accordance with his expressed wishes of more than 50 years, his body was donated to the Emory University School of Medicine upon his death. Memorials can be made to the Epilepsy Foundation ( and remembrances can be shared online with Mott-McKamey Funeral Home in Oak Ridge, TN

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas R. Sandy Messer, please visit our flower store.


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