Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QUENTIN MESSER SR.: 1937-2007; Longtime Educator Also Was Civic Leader in the Army, He Protected James Meredith at the University of Mississippi

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

QUENTIN MESSER SR.: 1937-2007; Longtime Educator Also Was Civic Leader in the Army, He Protected James Meredith at the University of Mississippi

Article excerpt

Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR

Quentin Messer Sr., a Jacksonville civic leader and educator for 39 years, died at his Jacksonville home Saturday. He was 70. His family declined to give a cause of death.

Visitors will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, 215 Bethel Baptist St., where the funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday. Burial will be in Oaklawn Cemetery.

Born in Jacksonville, Mr. Messer graduated from New Stanton High School in 1956 and went to Florida A&M University and Florida State University for bachelor and master's degrees. At FAMU, Mr. Messer was a trombonist with the famed Marching 100, a member of the Student Congress, the National Education Association, Men's Senate, Baptist Student Union, Student Union Social Board and the Scabbard and Blade, the military honor society.

Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army upon graduation, Mr. Messer served with a military police regiment and was one of the military officers assigned to protect James Meredith when he integrated the University of Mississippi in 1962.

After four years of active duty, Mr. Messer continued to serve in the Army reserve and retired after 18 years as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Messer began his career in the Duval County school system in 1964, serving primarily in middle schools. He was the principal of Paxon Middle and Matthew Gilbert Middle schools and both Mattie V. Rutherford and Lackawanna Alternative Education Centers before retiring in 2003.

In civic affairs, Mr. Messer was a fundraiser for the James Weldon Johnson Branch of the YMCA and was a deacon and member of the history and archives ministry at his church, Bethel Baptist. He also was active with the FAMU and Stanton alumni associations, Wilder Park Senior Citizens Club, Jacksonville Society of Reserve Officers Association of the U. …

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