The Obit For Les Palmer

Les Palmer

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" Rustenhaven officiating.

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 Funeral Home.

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 California Angels.

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 Kinesiology, TAMU.

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" Club.

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 Aggie scholarship.

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: Sullivan Funeral Home