Cherry Blossoms


December 24, 1930 ~ January 5, 2021 (age 90)


Joan Carol (Merchant) Messner was born in Riverside, CA, on December 24, 1930, to George Elmer Merchant and Mabelle Anabelle (Hanson) Merchant. She grew up with older siblings Maxine McKinley, Louise Oster, Beverly Connal, George Merchant, and younger siblings Marilyn Groven and Gurdon Merchant.

Joan enjoyed the adventures and hard work of growing up in a citrus grove that produced oranges and lemons. She attended Poly High School in Riverside, where she became best friends with Joanne (Messner) Cluse, who introduced her to her big brother Bill Messner.

She married the love of her life, William Frederick Messner, on August 28, 1949. Bill and Joan were married for 71 years. Her in-laws and their spouses became her siblings over time: Don Messner and Bob Messner, with Joanne leading the way.

Joan was always a hard worker, personally and professionally. She was a loyal, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a deeply dedicated mother who believed in helping with homework and family dinners every night. She was there for her children from the moment they were born and throughout their adult years. She loved to bring people together, whether tailgating at a UCLA football game or celebrating her family and many friends. She used these same gifts in her work at the Credit Union at Kaiser Steel.

Besides her family, Joan loved to travel. She traveled the world with her husband, even living in New Zealand for a time!

Bill and Joan moved to Palm Springs, CA, full-time in 2005, where they have enjoyed the beauty and warmth of a whole new community of friends.

Joan passed away January 5, 2021, leaving a hole in her large and loving family: her husband Bill; her children Patty Ludwig, Sandy Cuttino (Bennie), Nancy Cummings (Ron), and Bill Messner (Melissa); her grandchildren Jerry Ludwig, Tricia (Ludwig) Roe, Phil Cuttino (Cammy), Brandon Cummings, Savana Cummings, Will Messner, and Brenna Messner; and her great-grandchildren Katalina Albright and Vincent Cuttino.

We will miss this vibrant, strong woman every day, especially when watching a UCLA game, reading a book, playing cards, sipping a martini, watching a sunset, making one of her famously delicious meals, or enjoying an adventure out in the world she loved so much.

Visitation will be Monday,  Feb 22, 2021 in Grimes-Akes Family’s “Grace Chapel” 500 West Seventh Street Corona, California, 92882 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm with graveside service to follow in Riverside National Cemetery, at 2:00pm.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Akes Family Funeral Home, Riverside, CA.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JOAN CAROL (MERCHANT) MESSNER, please visit our floral store.


February 22, 2021

10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Grimes - Akes Family Funeral Home
500 West Seventh Street
Corona, CA 92882

Graveside Service
February 22, 2021

2:00 PM
Riverside National Cemetery

Video is available for this event

© 2021 Akes Family Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy