RALEIGH, N.C. - , who as helped her husband, Jim, build a multimillion-dollar evangelism empire and then saw it collapse in disgrace, died Friday. She was 65.
Messner, who had battled colon cancer since 1996 that more recently spread to her lungs, died at her home, said her booking agent, Joe Spotts. A family service was held Saturday in a private cemetery, where her ashes were interred, he said.
She had frequently spoken about her medical problems, saying she hoped to be an inspiration to others. "Don't let fear rule your life," she said. "Live one day at a time, and never be afraid." But she told well-wishers in a note on her Web site in May that the doctors had stopped trying to treat the cancer.