Carla J. Messer, 85, of Panama City, Fla., passed away on Jan. 1, 2022.
Formerly from Alstead and Keene, Carla was born in Springfield, Vt., on July 6, 1936, daughter of the late Frank and Virginia Dyke Blake.
Carla married Frederick Blood on July 5, 1953, who preceded her in 1981. She married Donald Messer on May 7, 1984, who preceded her in 1988.
While living in Alstead, she was active in all community activities. She was a 4-H leader for 15 years, a lifetime member of the Alstead Historical Society, former and charter member of the Tri-Town Snowmobile Club, a member of the Third Congregational Church, where she served as treasurer, on the flower committee and taught Sunday School, and served on the Vilas Pool Committee. When living in Keene, Carla was a member of the United Church of Christ.
Carla joined the Rebekah’s a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1954 at the Oasis Lodge No. 80 in Alstead. When she moved to Keene, she was a member of the Harmony Lodge No. 16 serving as officers of the lodge. In 1985-86 she was the president of the Rebekah Assembly. She was a member of the Monadnock LEA No. 10 and Monadnock Encampment serving as past chief, as well as Deputy Grand Matriarch for the Grand Encampment of New Hampshire, serving as Grand Matriarch of Connecticut in 1997-98, member of Auxiliary to Senter No. 12 Ladies, Auxiliary of Patriarch Militant of Concord and a past president of the Auxiliary. She was the Grand Patriarch Grand Encampment in 2014-15. She was also a member of the Beaver Brook Odd Fellow Lodge No. 36 of Keene (served as NG 2004-06), a PDDGM, a member of the Mizpah-Eunice Chapter Eastern Star of Langdon and former member of the White Shrine of Boswen.
She was past President of the Northeast Odd Fellows Association and served as Camp Director of Camp NEOFA in Maine for 15 years. She was on the Board of Directors of the IOOF Home in Concord, serving on the executive committee as President, member and executive board member of the former Three Links Visual Recourse (eye program), editor of the monthly IOOF newsletter, Camplea News (for 27 years), a member of the International Press Association and serving as president 2000-04.
Carla was a former member of the International Toastmaster and achieved her ATM status, serving as the local President of Keene Toastmaster. She was a former volunteer for the Red Cross, a Hospice volunteer and was an active member of the Monadnock Samaritans program for 15 years while serving as the interim director, facilitator of Safe Place and community awareness of suicide at civic presentations.
After retiring and moving to Panama City, Fla., she became an active member of the Callaway Methodist Church. She was a volunteer at the Family Services of Bay County, the Marines Corps League DET 065, and a trustee of the VFW Auxiliary Post 8205.
Carla loved her vegetable and flower gardens. She won many awards at the Cheshire Fair and was the sweepstake winner for a number of years in the flower division. Her hobby of knitting was shared by all the activity organizations she belonged to through her donations of countless knitted items for their fundraising projects.
Carla is survived by her daughters: Charmian Hadlock of Lompoc, Calif. and Linda Hakala of Hancock; her son, Scott Blood, and his wife, Lana, of Panama City, Fla.; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and her brothers: Stephen Blake of Alstead and Frank S. Blake of Brattleboro.
She was predeceased by her sons, Brett Blood in 1981, and Keith Blood in 2002.
There will be a Celebration of Life Feb. 6, 2022, at 1 p.m. at VFW Post 8205 in Parker, Fla., and a graveside service in Alstead at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CAMP NEOFA Maine campership fund at: Camp NEOFA, P.O. Box 101, Liberty, ME 04949.
Those wishing to extend condolences may do so at www.heritagefhllc.com.