Cover photo for Maria Miller-Mess's Obituary
Maria Miller-Mess Profile Photo
1935 Maria 2023

Maria Miller-Mess

May 30, 1935 — April 5, 2023

Maria Anna Miller-Mess, 87, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at Genesis Medical Center, East Campus in Davenport after a long and fulfilling life.

Her visitation will be held on Monday, April 10, 2023 at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge, Iowa from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. followed with a time of reflection and light lunch. Graveside services will be held at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Gothenburg, Nebraska at a later date.  Chambers Funeral Home in Eldridge is assisting the family with arrangements.

Maria was born in Kornwestheim, Germany on May 30, 1935, the daughter of Wilhelm and Maria (Scheffold) Launer. She completed the 8th grade in the aftermath of WWII and started sewing school but with no apprenticeships available, went to work in the Salamander Shoe factory working six years before emigrating to the United States.

On January 21, 1956 she married Army Serviceman Edward H. Miller in Kornwestheim where he was stationed at the time. They came to the United States and made their home north of Gothenburg where their four children were born. Maria was a farm wife, working alongside her husband to milk cows, ranch and raise their children. A tragic farming accident took Ed’s life on September 7, 1989. Maria also baked and cooked at the Gothenburg High School Cafeteria for nineteen years, retiring in 2000.

Through the “Singles in Ag” group, Maria met Elmer Mess and they were married on July 6, 2002. Together they enjoyed traveling with the SIA group, made many trips and enjoyed dancing with friends in the Davenport area. She loved a good polka and could still dance with the best of them.

Maria had an adventurous spirit, a wanderlust for traveling and enjoyed connecting with friends, old and new. Her love language was serving and cooking. She always had a cup of coffee ready and food to share. Her cinnamon rolls and brownies were a treat.

Those left to honor her memory include her husband, Elmer Mess and his children, spouses and grandkids who knew no other Oma; her children, Henry (David) Miller, Lori Ann (Steve) Dudley, Heidi (Dan) Mussack and Trudy Ecoffey; ten grandchildren, Lacee Gregg, Quentin (Kati) Dudley, Anneli (Joe) Dudley/Dickey, Ellen Dudley, William Dudley (Liz Gaston), Allison (Jonathan) Petersen, Abby Mussack (Matt Riani), Echo, Jade and Jules Ecoffey; her sister-in-law, Elsie Launer; her niece, Anita (Klaus) Vieten; and her nephew, Franz (Kelley) Launer.  Maria had eight great-grandchildren that she loved to hold.

Maria was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Ed; and her siblings, Alfred Launer and Gretal (Franz) Staudenraus

In honor of Maria’s memory please make memorials out to Lori Dudley with designation to Zion Lutheran Church, Red Cloud Indian School or Summit Church Historical Society and sent to 25547 Oliver Ave., Worthington, Minnesota 56187.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Maria’s obituary at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria Miller-Mess, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 10, 2023

9:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, April 10, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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