Cover photo for Richard R. Messerli's Obituary
Richard R. Messerli Profile Photo

Richard R. Messerli

d. September 30, 2020

Richard R. Messerli, known as Dick to his family and friends, was born December 11, 1937. He departed from this life to his new heavenly home on September 30, 2020 after a brief battle with cancer.

Richard was born in Hutchinson, Kansas to Robert and Ella Messerli and was raised on the family farm in Turon, Kansas.

On December 11, 1960 he married the love of his life, LaVelle Whitmore, at Cunningham Christian Church. They shared together almost 60 years of love and friendship.

To that marriage, two children joined them in life and love: a son, Darin DeVon, and a daughter, Darcie Dawn. Joy continued in Dick’s life when Darcie married and he became father-in-law to Kirby Martin. Along with that marriage he became Grandpa to his greatest joys: two grandsons Chase and Brock.

Dick graduated from Turon (Kansas) High School, Hutchinson Community College and attended Kansas State University. He worked for Kansas Department of Transportation as an inspector from 1959 to 2005 and also served in the Kansas Air Guard for six years; these were years he was always proud of. He became a Certified Engineering Technician 5. After he retired, he returned to working at POE Associates from 2005 to 2019.

Dick is survived by his wife, Lavelle (Whitmore) Messerli, son Darin Messerli of Newton, Kansas, daughter Darcie and son-in-law Kirby Martin of Hesston, Kansas, grandson Chase and wife Jordan (Wallis) Martin of Ft. Worth, Texas, and grandson Brock Martin of Topeka, Kansas.

Dick is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dwayne and Karen Elliot of Cunningham, Kansas; his nephews Tom Durall and wife Sue, Scott Elliot and his wife Kendra, Terry Elliot and his wife Jamie; great-nephews Jason Elliot and his wife Alisha, Seth, Cooper and Easton Elliot, Andrew Johns and his wife Justine; great-nieces Kristin and Renee Elliot, Kaylen Ortiz and her husband Rob, three great-great nieces, two great-great nephews, and cousins Jo, Brenda, Donna, Pat and Deanne.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law and mother in-law, sisters-in-law  and brothers-in-law, a nephew and a great-great nephew.

To celebrate and remember his life, there will be a time of visitation with family on Sunday, October 4, 2-3 p.m, at Petersen Family Funeral Home in Newton, Kansas; a funeral service on Monday, October 5, 11 a.m. at Cunningham Christian Church in Cunningham, Kansas, and internment following the funeral at Maud Cemetery in Cunningham.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be designated to Cunningham Christian Church Building Fund. Petersen Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left for the family at

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


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