Juneau resident Frank Edward Palmer died Feb. 28, 2010, when he drowned while swimming in the ocean during a family vacation in Kauai, Hawaii. His beloved wife, Patti, adored son Billie, cherished grandson Bill, and dear friends, Bud and Joy Hansen, were with him. He was 69.
He was born March 3, 1940, in Tacoma, Wash., to Clayburn F. "Bill" and Nona Palmer and grew up along the shores of Auke Bay. He attended elementary and high schools in Juneau, playing organized baseball and basketball throughout his youth, and he was a member of the Juneau Crimson Bear 1958 State Championship basketball team.
In his youth, he enjoyed fishing and hunting and relished learning those skills from his father. Except for attending college in North Dakota and a short stint in the Air Force, he spent most of his life in Alaska, which he loved. His passion for the outdoors enhanced his excitement for his annual hunting trip to Swan Island with his buddies and fishing with family and friends.
His work passion was the trucking industry, and he was widely known for his expert ability to spot and remove large vans from the Alaska ferries. All his working life, he worked with or for trucking companies. He worked for Orme Transfer, was part owner in Douglas Trucking for many years, and later worked for Lynden Transport and Alaska Marine Lines. The familiar sight of Frank traveling up and down Egan Highway in his truck, will be sorely missed.
"Frank was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend," his family wrote. "His love for his family and friends is cherished by all who knew him, and his great spirit and zest for life will live on forever."
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Patti Palmer; son, Bill Palmer; step-daughters, Kate and Leslie Becker, and Karen Ford Powell; step-sons, Randy and Rick Ford; grandson, Bill Palmer; granddaughters, Katie, Linda and Lisa Palmer, of Juneau, and Greta Olson, Margot and Hazel Liebrecht, of Portland, Ore.; sister, Marlene Palmer Ciraulo and husband, Joe, of Issaquah, Wash.; brother, Earl "Bosco" Palmer and wife, Sheila, of Shelton, Wash.; uncle, Earl L. Palmer and aunt, Geraldine Palmer, of Tacoma; and many nieces and nephews, as well as an endless group of friends.
A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. March 20 at the Chapel by the Lake, followed by a celebration of Frank's life at the Sandbar. In lieu of flowers, the family is setting up a trust fund for the grandkids in his memory. The family can be contacted c/o Patti Palmer, P. O. Box 240204, Douglas, AK 99824-0204.