Robert J. Palmer

Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Rev. Robert J. Palmer died Sept. 2, 2009, at his home in the Good Samaritan Village in Estes Park, Colo., following a nine-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 83.

Born at Superior, Wis., on Dec. 6, 1925, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in December, 1942, was called to active duty in May 1943, and discharged in April 1946. He held degrees from the College of Wooster in chemistry, and from McCormick Theological Seminary in ministry. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1955. He married Bobbe Sue Fletcher of Cherry Hills Village in July 1955.

Robert served as pastor of a mission church, the First Presbyterian Church in Saratoga, Wyo.; as organizing pastor of an new church development, the United Presbyterian Church of Riverton, Wyo.; and as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Sheridan, Wyo. It was while he was in Sheridan that the new church was built on Colonial Drive. The Palmers lived in Sheridan for 17 years and raised their family there.

Robert then served on the staff of the Presbytery of Alaska in Juneau, becoming its General Presbyter in 1986 and serving the outlying churches and lumber and fishing camps of the area. This challenging work with the Native people of Southeast Alaska was exciting and rewarding for both Bob and Bobbe, his family said.

Following retirement in 1992, he was interim pastor at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Billings, Mont.; interim executive, Presbytery of Yukon; interim pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Ellensburg, Wash.; interim pastor, Eagle River Presbyterian Church; and interim pastor, Skagway Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife, Bobbe, of Estes Park. He was preceded in death by an older brother, Stephen, and is survived by a younger brother, David, of Sun City Center, Florida. Also surviving are three sons: Kimball Morgan of Corte Madera, California; John Palmer of Lakewood, Colorado; and Martin Palmer of Juneau; two daughters: Margaret O'Dell of Casper, Wyo., and Susan Palmer of Estes Park, Colo., who died Sept. 4; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Robert will be remembered with affection by his family and by all those he served through his years of faithful service to Jesus Christ and his church, his family said.

While in Sheridan, he was persuaded to take a part in a play, and became part of the Civic Theater Guild, acting in many plays and musicals, receiving a number of awards.

Always wanting to keep active, Robert and Bobbe were instructors in the AARP Driver Safety Program for the past five years, and Robert coordinated the program for Laramie and Weld counties in the past three years.

Services will be held at the Community Presbyterian Church of the Rockies in Estes Park at 3 p.m. Sept. 19. His cremains will be buried at a later date in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. See www.allnutt to send a message to the family.

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