Patricia “Pat” Messinger, 57, of Buena Park, Calif., formerly of Dover, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011.


Patricia “Pat” Messinger, 57, of Buena Park, Calif., formerly of Dover, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, at home.

Born Oct. 16, 1953, in New Jersey, Ms. Messinger was the daughter of the late Joyce and James Paluck.

She worked in many fields, including security and pest control, as well as being a school bus driver for more than 23 years, starting in New Jersey and then in Delaware before retiring.

Ms. Messinger was a devoted mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She had a big heart and was a huge animal lover, taking in strays and treating them like family.

She is survived by her fiancée and best friend, Gary Sabara of Buena Park, Calif.; three sons and a daughter-in-law, George Messinger of Kentucky, Jimmy Messinger and his fiancée Nancy Lazar of Bear, and Gary Messinger and his wife Sirena of Milford; a daughter and son-in-law, Trish Nixon and her husband Heath of Dover; three brothers, Billy Henriksen, Bruce Henriksen and Kenny Henriksen; four sisters, Joyce, Maris, Margaret and Carol; an ex-husband, George Messinger of Dover; 11 grandchildren, Maritza, George, Allen John, Amethyst, Amber, Keira, Kristina, Timothy, Dale, Alex and Seth; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Memorial services were held privately.