Nina Palmer

May 18, 1931September 6, 2021

A joyous reunion was held on the other side of the veil when our mother and grandmother, Nina, peacefully crossed over on September 6, 2021 surrounded by loved ones. Although the last years of her life Nina struggled with Alzheimer’s and then cancer, during this difficult season of her final journey home, she did not let it diminish her spirit, her faith, or her fun laugh and positive outlook on life! She kept her sense of humor to the end!

Nina was always expressing her excitement about passing on to the next stage of her she affectionately referred to it as “the ultimate trip”. For years Nina was always heard saying things such as “Oh, I have had such a wonderful life!” and “Every righteous desire of my heart has been granted me.” and “I can’t possibly think of anything else that I could have ever wanted!”.

Born in Orem, Utah during the Great Depression, Nina was the youngest of seven children born to Arthur V. Watkins and Andrea Rich Watkins. (Her older sister only lived a few short hours, but Nina always remembered her and counted her in with her siblings.) At the age of 15, Nina moved from Orem to Arlington, Virginia when her father was elected as U.S. Senator for Utah. Nina was very involved in high school and had many exciting adventures with her best friend, Shirley Crowther (Hardman). Nina was selected as Washington Lee High School Salutatorian from her large graduating class of 400 students. Nina then enrolled at George Washington University and later transferred to BYU where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Art and a minor in French.

During her college time at GWU, Nina met her true love (William) Martin Palmer who was a medical student, while on a blind date. When Nina transferred to BYU she and Martin had a long distance dating relationship for two years, and upon Nina’s graduation they were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Nina worked full time while Martin finished up his fourth year of medical school at the University of Maryland Medical School, they then applied to do his pediatric cardiology residency in the Bay Area and off they moved across the country from the East Coast to sunny Northern California for a new adventure!

Nina, Martin and their four children loved living in the Bay Area and thoroughly enjoyed many happy years in beautiful Northern California with life long friendships with the Billeter’s, Christensen’s, Wickel’s and Stephen’s. Nina loved going to the ocean (especially in the winter to enjoy the crashing waves) and enjoyed many trips with Martin to her favorite vacation spot, Carmel. Every year family vacation times were spent going down to San Diego to spend time with Martin’s sister and family “The Squire Gang” or driving to Utah to spend time with Nina’s siblings and their children, attending the famous “Corry Reunion” camping at Navajo Lake in Southern Utah or visiting other relatives. Nina instilled in her children the importance of extended family and having meaningful relationships with cousins. (For which we are so very grateful!).

In 1973 Nina and Martin decided to start another adventure when Martin left his private medical pediatric practice and accepted the position as the Medical Director at Primary Children's Medical Center - so they left sunny California and moved their family to Salt Lake City, Utah to be near cousins and grandparents and learn to ski and enjoy the snow.

Nina was very involved over the years with many different organizations. Nina worked to get community groups organized and was involved as an original member of the Utah Federation for Drug Free Youth, was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use, and the Governor’s Council on Volunteerism. Nina started the Utah Association of Women in the late 1970’s in an informal caucus in her living room. Nina worked hard to get her women’s organization granted consultative status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and for many years she was heavily involved with traveling the world to participate in UN meetings and conferences. In 2000, she was also elected to the Board of Directors of the World Movement of Mothers and for years had the opportunity to go to Paris to attend their annual Board Meetings.

Nina was extremely proud of her pioneer ancestors and loved sharing the stories and journal entries of her ancestors. She raised her children and grandchildren on their stories and instilled her love for these ancestors to many other family members. Nina loved planning and organizing huge family reunions and as part of family vacations, insisted on visiting many cemeteries to see the grave markers of ancestors. Nina also loved history and served as a docent in the Oakland Museum while living in California. Because of the knowledge she gained while at the Museum, the family enjoyed many wonderful vacations planned by Nina as they went to gold rush sites, panned for gold and learned to love the stories of the old timers!

Nina was very politically active her entire life and as a daughter of a US Senator, she attended many events at the Senate Chambers, The White House and had many experiences not many young teenagers have the opportunity to enjoy.

Nina was a very detailed record keeper and put together over 100 large three ring binders on her life, her ancestors lives, her husband's life and his ancestors. Nina was always trying to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, both at home and abroad and was never shy of sharing her testimony of and her belief in, her Savior, Jesus Christ. Nina was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints throughout her life and enjoyed serving in many church callings.

As a widow, Nina sold the family home in Holladay, left the hustle and bustle of the Wasatch Front and followed her daughter and family out to Erda, to enjoy the beauty of Tooele County. Nina loved the openness of the country, the beautiful sunsets, the mountain views, the dark starry nights that Erda offered, and the friendly neighbors. Nina spent many hours sitting on her front porch enjoying the serenity of country life!

Nina loved spending time with all her “special nieces” and going out to lunch down in Orem at the Sizzler. She looked forward to these fun lunches with her niece, Carol and her wonderful daughters Diane, Janet and Andrea. She also loved going out to lunch with the “Bountiful Cousins”, Andrea, Mary Lee, Laurel and sometimes cousin Kent! Many happy memories and deep friendships were forged over the years with intergenerational get-togethers! Nina loved everything the color blue, dolls, reading, and all things historical!

Nina was preceded in death by her husband, Martin and their son, Art; as well as her parents, siblings and most of her dear friends. She is survived by her children: Marty (Dave) Wallace, Bill Palmer, Ginny (Mike) Vielstich as well as her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, and neighbors.

Funeral services will be held at the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park & Mortuary Chapel - 3401 South Highland Drive, SLC on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at 11:00 am. Viewing to be held one hour prior. In an abundance of caution, the family respectfully requests that masks be worn. The funeral services can be viewed online at the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park website by going to the “recent obituaries” and clicking on Nina’s name.

Deep gratitude is expressed for all those that shared their time over the years to make Nina’s life pleasant by stopping by to chat, making time for a phone call or sending a card, bringing over flowers or dropping off yummy cookies. Your kindness was always noticed, appreciated and for sure was recorded by the angels above! A special thank you to her granddaughter Hailey who spent countless hours with Grandma, listening to her stories and rendering compassionate care the last 1-½ years.

Endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternities.


  • Arthur V. Watkins and Andrea Rich Watkins, Parents (deceased)
  • (William) Martin Palmer, Husband (deceased)
  • Art Palmer, Son (deceased)
  • Marty Wallace (Dave Wallace), Daughter
  • Bill Palmer, Son
  • Ginny Vielstich (Mike Vielstich), Daughter
  • She is survived by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, and neighbors.

  • Dave Wallace, Pallbearer
  • Hailey Wallace, Pallbearer
  • Austin Taylor, Pallbearer
  • Bill Palmer, Pallbearer
  • Ryan Palmer, Pallbearer
  • AJ Palmer, Pallbearer
  • Mike Vielstich, Pallbearer
  • Chris Vielstich, Pallbearer
  • Brady Dalton, Pallbearer
  • Robert Palmer, Pallbearer
  • John Palmer, Pallbearer


  • Viewing

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, September 18, 2021


  • Interment

    Saturday, September 18, 2021


Nina Palmer

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tiffany Nelson

September 26, 2021

You taught me to hold onto memories. To write them down, to save pieces of them and tuck them away to one day pull out again, look back, and remember. You taught me to write my story. And for the first 29 years of my life, my story included you.
Nights cozying up on the couch with you, reading old letters you had kept. Listening to your sweet laugh that was as pure and as joyful as a bell. Playing with all your figurines on the mantle. Climbing your tall backyard tree, that seemed to be made purely for climbing feet. You taking me to see Cinderella Story for the first time. Our treasure hunts through the dollar store when we were all kids. Sitting and drawing together on your kitchen table. Hearing your voice greet me on the phone, saying my name like it was your favorite word in the world. Going through your basement with you, exploring all the photos and collections down there. Everything had a story. I never got tired of listening to your stories. The glint in your eye when you would smile, and how you would lean closer when you were getting to a part of one of your stories that was extra interesting. I remember walking with your arm in mine, and watching you wave as cars drove by on one of your walks, you with your floppy hat covering your beautiful white hair. I love the way you smelled, and every now and then, I smell that smell and it feels like I’m back with you. All the world was beautiful in your eyes. Joy and light just radiated from you. It was impossible to feel unhappy around you, not with your quick wit, your wide smile that took up your whole face, your laugh, and your light.
You truly left the world a better place. At your funeral it was said you took care of the entire world and that’s so, very true. I will forever be grateful for that and for everything you were and still are to me. And I am determined to have a part of you live on as I tell your stories, and as I tell mine. Love you forever, Grandma. I’ll keep telling my story. Promise.

Monica Craig

September 21, 2021

I have so many wonderful memories with Grandma Palmer growing up. We went to her house in Holliday often for family gatherings, and these were some special memories for me. I loved exploring her house, seeing all the treasures that she had, and loved that there was a story behind everything. Her backyard was also a magical place, and I have fond memories climbing the trees there with my cousins. Grandma was someone who was so full of love and had a beautiful perspective on life. She made things that were important to her happen. Like the Nauvoo trip we went on with our cousins, aunts and uncles, which she planned and organized. I love her infectious laugh, and the joyous expression on her face. She always seemed to maintain an incredibly positive attitude despite the trials and physical hardships she was going through. During a video call earlier this year that my family had with her, she talked about extending the courage to do whatever it is that you want to do, and to “just go for it”. This sort of mentality is what I hope to embody through her beautiful example.

David Farr

September 21, 2021

Nina Palmer was always interested in her Farr family history and faithfully supported the Winslow Farr Sr. Organization (WFO) in their genealogical, historical and reunion activities. She was an active member of WFO researching, working, donating and faithfully attending and participating in our reunions.
David J Farr former president WFO.

Bill Palmer

September 20, 2021

Two days after my Mom's funeral I came across this photo I had never seen before. It's a little gift from heaven. I'm pictured here in my Cub Scout uniform in front of our Oakland, California home, circa 1967, my Mom smiling proudly behind me. It's easy to imagine her now smiling brightly from above, just like in this snapshot, her earthly troubles behind her. I hope to always give her a reason to smile.

My Mom was an incredible woman who lived her life to the fullest and accomplished much. She dearly loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and is remembered with fondness by all of them. Mom loved the Lord and was a great example of following his teachings. She had an infectious laugh and a radiant smile that could light up a room. Beautiful and elegant, with a great sense of humor, she lived her life with grace and was forever grateful for all of her blessings.

As her life drew to a close, she commented that there was nothing more she could have wanted, observing that all of the righteous desires of her heart had been fulfilled. She was an influence for good in the lives of many people across the globe, and truly left this world a better place.

Some time-honored advice she gave just months before she died included the counsel to take one day at a time, to emphasize the positive, to look for the good in others, and to forgive your neighbor, because holding a grudge, she said, doesn't hurt your neighbor, it just hurts yourself.

I miss you Mom, love you with all of my heart, and I'm very thankful for you and the amazing life you lived. I know you are experiencing great joy, having returned home to the arms of our loving Savior and the many loved ones that preceded you in death, including my Dad, my brother Art, your parents and siblings, and the many others in your family history that you had such love and respect for. I look forward to seeing you again one day!

With much love, your son, Bill Palmer

B.J. and Cecelia Beckstrand

September 19, 2021

When I was single and had just started employment in Oakland, California, Nina, Martin, and their family were very kind and invited me to their home for a delicioius dinner and enjoyable visiting on several occasions. Marty, Bill, Art, and Ginny were all very young at this time.

Several other times, myself, my parents, my sister and her husband, as well as other family members were invited to their home in Holliday at Thanksgiving and Christmas. On these occasions, a delicious meal and friendly visiting was always enjoyed.

Corry Family Reunions presented another time to talk and visit with Nina. Similar opportunities to visit took place after Nina moved to Tooele County where we also lived.

Nina was very good at putting you at ease when conversing. She always put you at the center of the conversation instead of herself. She wanted to know how things were going with Cecelia and I and our family and always took a sincere interest in us.
B.J. Beckstrand