Jim Palmer was longtime railroad engineer
James Palmer, 89, died Sept. 8, 2012, in Rockport, Texas.
James “JP” Patrick Palmer was born Sept. 20, 1922, to Leslie and Winifred Palmer in Aberdeen.
He attended Aberdeen Central High School and graduated in 1940. He started working on the Milwaukee Railroad in 1938. He became a locomotive fireman in 1941.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1943 where he was trained at torpedo school and then was sent to the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Upon discharge from the Navy he returned to the railroad and became a locomotive engineer. He worked on the rotary snowplow for the railroad clearing railroad lines during the harsh South Dakota winters until his retirement in 1980.
He married Ida Schumacher in 1946. Ida passed away in 1971. He married Fern Klingman in 1973. He married Patricia Ann Blazer in June of 1981.
He was a member and active in Alcoholics Anonymous since 1951. He was one of the founding members of the AA “yellow house” in Aberdeen.
Jim loved hunting, fishing, golfing, walking dogs and dancing. In 1982 Jim and Pat became “Winter Texans,” spending their winters in Rockport, Texas. Jim enjoyed going to coffee at What-a-Burger and loved the people there. While in Rockport Jim began a sewing machine business and he was quoted saying, “I kept a lot of women in stitches!”
In 2011 Jim was selected to attend the Honor Flight of WWII veterans traveling to Washington DC to see the World War II memorial and other historic sites.
Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Pat of Rockport; two sons, Jay (Jena) Palmer of Coppell, Texas, and Bart (Suzanne) Palmer of Bethesda Md.; daughter-in-law, Glenda Palmer of Mobridge; two step-sons, Ron (Bonnie) Gemar of Mobridge and Marc Gemar of Elkhorn, Neb.; step-children, Loren Klingman of Rapid City; Yvonne (Tom) Kraft of Black Hawk; Randy (Theresa) Klingman of Chandler Ariz.; and Aleta (Greg) Merkel of Mobridge; 10 grandchildren, Kelly (Brent) Kemnitz, Timothy (Karen) Palmer, Joseph Palmer, Brant Palmer, Eric Palmer, Lauren Gemar, Fallon Gemar, Stephen Gemar, Stephanie Gemar and Emily Palmer; seven great-grandchildren, Michael Kemnitz, Jeffery Kemnitz, Kathryn Kemnitz, Elizabeth Kemnitz, Julia Palmer, Sara Palmer, and Nathan Palmer.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Gary; his wife, Ida (Schumacher) Palmer; a brother, Eugene “Gene” Palmer; a sister, Patricia Palmer; a step-son, Eddie Gemar; and son, Dennis Palmer.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 at 2 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockport. In lieu of flowers the family requests you consider making a donation to the Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Mobridge building fund. Arrangements have been entrusted to Charlie Marshall Funeral Homes and Crematory of Rockport-Fulton, Texas.