Monday, October 3, 2016

A Tribute to Thomas Richard Palmer 1921-2016

We have received word of the passing of Richard "Dick" Palmer. I never met Mr. Palmer, but I felt as if I knew him through the photographs and stories that he shared via his daughter Janet Chapman. Although his health was failing, he was still able to recall his life along North Audubon Road.  He spent his childhood and formative years in a charming stuccoed bungalow at 333 North Audubon Road. He was the only surviving child of Walter and Mary Fee Palmer.  Dick had many friends in the neighborhood and graduated from Arsenal Tech High School in 1939 and Miami University in Ohio in 1943. During World War II, he flew B-25 Mitchell aircraft and instructed others on how to fly the machine. He later married and started both a career and a family and only returned to Irvington to visit his parents. If we could travel back in time and walk along North Audubon Road in the late 1920s or early 1930s, we would likely see Dr. Walter Palmer coming home from his job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and we would likely see Mary Fee Palmer sitting on their long front porch watching their son play with his latest toy automobile or plane. Dick Palmer remained an enthusiast about autos and planes for the remainder of his life. Can you hear the laughter and shrieks from the other kids on the block? I can.

This post is dedicated to Thomas Richard Palmer. I am particularly grateful to Nancy Ostrander, who put me in touch with Janet Chapman. Mrs. Chapman scanned dozens of family photographs and interviewed her father so that I could publish his stories on this blog. To read more about the Palmers of Irvington click on the "Palmer" link below.

Mary Fee Palmer holds her son Dick in 1922 on the front porch of their brand new home at 333 North Audubon Road.

Dick Palmer graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 1939 and Miami University in 1943.

Walter and Mary Fee Palmer raised their son Dick in this lovely home at 333 North Audubon Road. 

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