Terry Allen Messerli

June 11, 1945 - April 20, 2023

Terry Allen Messerli was born June 11, 1945, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the second child of Howard and Claretta (Mortensen) Messerli. Terry’s father died when Terry was just a few months old and Claretta loaded up him and his sister Judy and moved to Greybull to be near her sister Ruth (Red) Deveraux. In Greybull Claretta met Chester A. Whaley, they married and three more siblings were added to Terry’s family.

Chester was a wonderful father to Terry and made sure he never lost touch with his Messerli family. Terry grew up on Shell Creek and loved raising sheep. After graduating from Greybull High School, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Vietnam for a year. That time of his life was never far from Terry’s mind and he was proud to serve his country. He was always willing to share stories of his time there.

Tom Whaley, Terry’s brother, talked him into attending Casper College when he returned from his tour in Vietnam. After two years of college, Terry began his career with the federal government. Terry worked out of the Billings office and provided law enforcement on the vast federal lands in southern Montana and northern Wyoming. Terry retired in 2000 from his position as District Ranger with the BLM and he and his wife Carol purchased a small sheep ranch and moved to Powell, Wyo. Terry kept meticulous records and worked to raise sheep with the finest micron wool. He also pursued another passion of his, training sheep dogs. Not only were his dogs aware of the normal commands such as away, come bye, and look back, but he also built agility courses for his dogs to run. Terry and Carol eventually moved back to Shell just a quarter of a mile from the Whaley home place where Terry was raised. With the help of good friends and neighbors, Terry was able to keep his flock of sheep up until the end.

Terry is preceded in death by his wife Carol, father Howard Messerli, stepfather and mother Chester and Claretta Whaley, and brothers Tom and Chester Jr. He is survived by his son Chad (Brande) Hixson, stepchildren Correna (Steve) Genders and David (Cory) Krook, and sisters Judy and Alice Whaley.

Terry will be remembered as a man of highest integrity who never meddled in others' business and whose word was always good. His love of sheep is apparent when you drive by his place and see the rambouillet buck painted on his shed. He prided himself in having the smartest sheep in Shell and would share stories of them to all who would listen.

A graveside service will be held at Whaley Cemetery Saturday May 6 at 10 a.m. with Jerry Ewen presiding. Friends and family are encouraged to gather afterwards for coffee and a no-host brunch at the Shell Store. 

Cremation and service arrangements have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.