The Rev. Dr. John F. Messerschmitt died on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 after a stroke. John is survived by his wife, the former Carol Lynne MacDonald; his daughters, Kristin Kinsky (Greg); and Karen Lavery (Christopher); his grandchildren, Ryan and Chase Kinsky, and Trea and Aislinn Lavery; and his brother, Peter Messerschmitt (Diane).
He was born in New York City, the son of Harold and Agnes (Inman) Messerschmitt. John graduated from CCNY in 1960 with a BS in Biology, from Union Theological Seminary in NYC in 1966 with a Bachelor of Divinity, and Andover Newton Theological Seminary for a Doctorate of Divinity.
John worked as the campus minister at Brockport State College in upstate NY, and then as the campus minister at Brooklyn College, while he continued studies at the Institutes of Religion and Health in New York City. In 1975 John moved to Pittsfield to start and co-direct the Counseling Center in the Berkshires. His desire to help people led him to earn his Doctorate of Divinity at Andover Newton Seminary, enabling him to become a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts.
John was particularly dedicated to the issues of peace and justice and constantly strove to help improve the lives of others. He was actively involved with many organizations, including Bridges for Peace, Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Mass Audubon Society, and most recently, Literacy Volunteers. John received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Northeast Region; additionally, he was a member and supervisor in the American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He was an active member of First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, where he served on its Mission Committee and Church Council, and taught adult classes. He loved hiking (including with his friends the Monday Mountain Boys), camping, traveling, reading, poetry, painting, seeing the heavens with his telescope, and photography.
Calling hours at the Dwyer Funeral Home will be on Friday, December 15, 2017 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 11:00am at First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, 27 East Street, Pittsfield, celebrated by the Rev. Dr. James Lumsden.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, Hancock Shaker Village, Mass Audubon, or a charity of your choice
in his memory.
To read more about Dr. Messerschmitt go to http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/john-messerschmitt-obituary?pid=187502183