On April 25,1940 I was born in Port Arthur, Ontario to parents Hilda and Elwin Palmer, joining my sister Margaret. My younger sister Barbara would follow a few years later, completing our family. In 1952 we would move from Port Arthur to Dryden where Dad managed the new Royal Theatre. After completing high school I worked full time at the paper mill in Dryden until I enrolled at the University of Winnipeg. After graduating from the U of W I took a job as a management trainee at Eaton’s department store on Portage Avenue. I worked with a great lady named Edith Keil and was soon dating her daughter Linda (I called her Lyn). We were married for 54 years. I think I was set up – either by Edith or Lyn or both!
Eaton’s had transferred me to Saskatoon where son Jeffrey was born in 1971. Eaton’s was failing and I joined Texaco and then Sears in order to get back to Winnipeg. We bought a house on Ash Street in River Heights where Lyn and I lived for 51 years. James arrived not long afterwards in 1973. After teaching marketing and business administration at Red River College for almost three decades I retired in 2001. While the boys were growing up our summers were spent criss-crossing North America, starting off in a tent before graduating to a Volkswagen camper van and series of RVs. Many memories were made carving and camping in Lake Bronson State Park in Minnesota over the years.
Working at Red River College (and having extra time over summer) allowed me to pursue my interest in woodworking and carpentry, eventually building an addition to our River Heights home and renovating a house on Dorchester Avenue. We also operated Frosty’s Ice Cream on Corydon Avenue for a few years in the 1970s, before the property was sold to 7-11.
Playing bridge introduced me to Bob and Ian at the College. For years we took turns hosting bridge at our homes until more recently we played duplicate bridge at Creakers bridge club, where we met a whole new group of friends.
In 1985 I discovered my true passion – wood carving wildfowl and wild birds. I started the Wing Bang Carving Co. where I taught classes, sold carvings, Palmer-branded carving knives, wood, and other tools across North America for over ten years. I was a member of the Prairie Canada Carvers for 20 years, and President for six. Through woodcarving Lyn and I made many great friends, especially John, Tom and Dorynne. When carving became difficult, I took up painting acrylics on canvas. I love doing landscapes.
For many years we were active members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on Cambridge Street. Almost four years ago Lyn was diagnosed with cancer and to make things worse I too was diagnosed in the spring of 2022. We sold our house and moved into assisted living. Lyn passed away in November 2022. Assisted living didn’t agree with me and James and family selflessly took me in.
I am survived by sons Jeff (Carolyn) and James (Bonnie), sisters Margaret Nygren (Carl) and Barbara Ivison (Barry), sister-in-law Sharon Chopp (Lyle) and grandchildren Emma, Heidi, Bridget and Jackson.
I have had a great and interesting life. Joining Lyn’s family was a blessing. I am so proud of my boys and their families. They were all loved by both Lyn and myself. Bonnie was a blessing, helping Lyn and myself in our most difficult times.
A memorial celebration will be held at Oak Hammock Marsh in the Willow Retreat on the eighth of June from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Paul Daenick and nurse Shawna at CancerCare Manitoba and the entire palliative care team.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Oak Hammock Marsh (In Memoriam/Dedications) would be greatly appreciated.
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