Donald "Don" Edward Palmer Sr.

December 17, 1933August 30, 2020

Donald (Don) E. Palmer, 86, passed away at home with his family on August 30, 2020. Don was born on December 17, 1933 to Lawrence and Grace (Inwards) Palmer at Brainerd, Minnesota. He attended school in Minnesota until 1942 when the family moved to Gladstone, Oregon, to do defense work in the Portland area. Then back to Minnesota to take care of storm damage to the farm. In 1945, his father had a heart attack, so in 1947 they moved to Caldwell, Idaho, for Don and his brother Glen to attend Gem State Academy and work at school, while their father worked on their small farm nearby. Don graduated in 1951.

While in Idaho, he met Helen Thrush and they were married in Reith, Oregon on June 25, 1953. Don worked at sawmills in Pilot Rock and Pendleton, Oregon. In 1954, daughter Connie was born. They moved to Salem, Oregon in 1956, and their second daughter Karen was born. Don and his brother Glen operated a gas station in West Salem, and Don and Helen operated Riverside Trailer Court. Don worked for the State Hospital, then for Boeing in Seattle, Washington for awhile, then back to Salem, Oregon and the State Hospital again. He worked in Corvallis, Oregon in a training center for the handicapped, then in Salem, Oregon at Fairview Training Center as a manual-arts instructor.

He was a charter member (May 1961) of the East Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church. Over the years he was very active in the church in many positions; also with the youth Pathfinder Club with boys and girls. He was the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventist District 3 Coordinator for the Pathfinder Clubs.

In 1965, his son Don Jr. was born in Salem, Oregon. Don enjoyed traveling with family, camping at the coast and the mountains, church activities, and going to car races and watching races on TV.

Don is survived by his wife Helen, of 67 years; children - Connie Heinrich (Jim) of Tolstoy, South Dakota, Karen Kiele (Jan Eric) of Chugiak, Alaska, Don Jr. of Salem, Oregon; 1 sister-in-law - Lou Palmer of Washington, 2 step brothers - John Perrine (Irene) of Texas, Wayne Perrine of Oregon; 2 step sisters - Mary Coleman of Texas, Ellen Perrine of Washington; 9 grandchildren - Gabrielle, Sabrina, and Brietta Kiele of Fairbanks, Alaska, Janice Heinrich of Lincoln, Nebraska, Sarah Timothy (Zach) of Carmichael, California, Amanda Snyder (Jesse) of Salem, Oregon, Andrew Palmer (Noreen) of Portland, Oregon, Anthony Palmer (Maria) of San Antonio, Texas, Angela Johnson-Kiele (Scott) of Chugiak, Alaska; 6 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Those preceding him by death are, his father Lawrence Palmer; mother Grace Perrine; brother Glen Palmer (January 2020); step brother David Perrine; and step sister Dorothy Brunt.

Don will be greatly missed by family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on Monday, September 21st at East Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5575 Fruitland Rd. NE, Salem, OR 97317. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the church in Don's honor.


  • Memorial Service

    Monday, September 21, 2020


Donald "Don" Edward Palmer Sr.

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