Published in The Marshall
News Messenger from October 24 to October 26, 2009
Services for Les Palmer
of Marshall, formerly of College Station, will be held at Cumberland Presbyterian
Church at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, with the Rev. William R. "Rusty"
Burial will follow at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, at Sullivan
Mr. Palmer died Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. Leslie Lloyd "Les" Palmer
was born to Doyle Tomkay Palmer and Meta May Hepler Palmer on the 20th
day of May 1923, in Hitchcock.
He was educated in Corpus Christi, Hitchcock and Aransas Pass. He graduated
from Aransas Pass High School in 1941. He then entered Texas A&M University
and left there after Pearl Harbor.
He was a member of the 12th Air Force, 57th Bomb Wing, 319th Bomb Group,
440th Bomb Squad flying from Sardinia and Corsica. On his 20th mission,
he was shot down, wounded and captured. He was a Prisoner of War in Stalag
VII A and was liberated on April 29, 1945, ending over six months of captivity.
Following the end of World War II, he returned to Texas A&M where
he was a Distinguished Student and received his B.S. degree in 1948.
In 1951, he received his Masters of Education. In 1953, he was the Aetna
Fellow at New York University's center for safety education. Additional
doctoral studies were done at The University of Texas-Austin, Baylor University,
Texas Tech University and Texas A&M. He was a member of Phi Delta
Kappa, Phi Epsilon Kappa and Etta Sigma Gamma.
He was an accomplished pianist, played professional baseball, was an assistant
baseball coach and a freshman coach for A&M and scouted for the then
During his tenure at A&M he authored books on safety education, baseball,
softball and bowling. He served on the A&M Consolidated school board
for many years. He retired as Assistant Department Head of Health and
He was a member of Cumberland Presbyterian Church, an endowed member of
Sul Ross Masonic Lodge and the Dallas Scottish Rite. Life memberships
include the military order of the Purple Heart, American Ex-Prisoners
of War, Disabled American Veterans, National Association of Professional
Ballplayers, PGA Tour Partners and the Caterpillar Club.
He held annual memberships in USGA, VFW, Association of Former Students-Texas
A&M, Marshall Lakeside Country Club and the Centenary "C"
In 2006, he was honored by Aransas Pass as a member of its Hall of Fame
being recognized for his life achievements. Since his retirement from
A&M, he has been honored by the university with the annual Les Palmer
Invitational Golf Tournament. The Les Palmer Dressing Room at Olsen Field
in College Station was provided by Don Davis, a former player of his.
Each year, Barbara and Paul Reynolds present the Les Palmer Fightin' Texas
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mary Alyce Palmer, his
parents and three brothers.
He is survived by his son, Leslie Lloyd Palmer Jr. of College Station;
his daughter, Nancy Palmer Fessler and her husband Ray of Marshall; his
two granddaughters, Lisa Sharp Montgomery and her husband Matthew of Dallas
and Amanda Leigh Sharp of Bridge City; two great-grandchildren, Ainsley
Ann Montgomery and Palmer James Montgomery and his "Aggie" son
Paul Reynolds and his wife Barbara of Marshall. He is also survived by
his sister, Dorothy Evans; a sister-in-law, three nieces and five nephews.
Special thanks to Riddie Jones and Rusty Rustenhaven for their loving
care and to the medical professionals who have cared for him: Northwest
Nephrology-Melissa Lynn, MD, Lori Staley, RN; Willis Knighton Cancer Center-Maxwell
" Chip" McDonald, MD; Dermatology and Skin Care of Longview-Stephen
Beck, MD and staff and John Cayce, DDS and staff.
Pallbearers are Robert Billingsley, Richard Bleckner, Don Chase, Gary
Herrington, Ronnie Palmer and Paul Reynolds. Flowers are permitted or
memorials may be made to the Scottish Rite Hospital, 2222 Welborn, Dallas,
TX 75219, Cumberland Presbyterian Church or the National Kidney Foundation.
Online condolences may be made to: www.sullivan-funeralhome.com Sullivan