Cover photo for Richard Eugene "Gene" Palmer's Obituary
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1939 Richard eugene "gene" 2021

Richard Eugene "Gene" Palmer

February 7, 1939 — June 11, 2021

Captain Richard Eugene “Gene” Palmer, age 82 Born 2/7/1939 in Chicago, Illinois to the late Robert and Rosa Garofola Palmer. He is survived by his wife, Janice Burkett Palmer of 22 years. Retired Army Captain Richard (Gene) Palmer demonstrated exceptional service to his country throughout his military career. After accepting an Officer’s commission as Second Lieutenant and graduating from both the Army Engineer and Infantry Officers course, he went on to earn the highly coveted Green Beret of the U.S. Army Special Forces. During his career, Capt. Palmer was given several awards for his exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to his Country: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service, Army Commendation (Oak Leaf Custer). South Vietnam also Presented Capt. Palmer with the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze star and the Vietnam Unit Gallantry Cross. Upon retirement from the U.S. Army Special Forces after 27 years he also held many positions in the communities where he lived: Manager of the East Coast distribution center of literature for the Presbyterian Church, coach of the first all-girls soccer team and assistant Track and Cross Country coach for the Southwestern School system, member of the Somerset Pulaski Co. Rescue Squad (voted member of the year by his peers), volunteered for Senior Friends at LCRH by aiding the family in any capacity they needed, whether making balloon animals for the kids or leading the family in prayer. He presented countless awards and participated in many ceremonies for the JROTC at the prestigious Alvin York Institute in Jamestown, TN. He was also an avid member of 50 years and sponsor to the Boy Scouts of America. One of his many accomplishments is helping create a program called Tiger Cubs that he helped introduce throughout the United States. For 8 years he served as Pulaski County Constable, along with being a lifelong member of the VFW, DAV, and Special Forces association. He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert and a sister Beverly. He is survived by his brother Bob Nichols of Florida and a sister Patty Merchant of Georgia. He is also, survived by his sons: Richard Palmer of Oregon, Brad Davis of Indiana, and Lange Palmer of California. His daughters: Kelly (Dale) McAllister of Oregon, Carrie Spillane of Florida, and Tricia (Craig) Whitaker of Somerset, Tammy (Gary) Pence, and Sheila (Donnie) Moore and not to forget a very close family friend Margaret (Terry) Haydon of Somerset. Also survived by several grandchildren: Anthony Palmer, Kristina Palmer, Kayla McLaws, Kamri (Matthew) Fisher, Kasandra McLaws, Kelly (Matthew) Burke, K J (Amberlynn) McLaws, Kadence (Megan) McLaws, Kathren McLaws, Clay Whitaker, Cole Whitaker, Josh (Sara) Pence, Alex Pence, Casey Denney, Logan (Lauryn) Denney along with his Great-Grand children: Grace, Alexandria, Paige, Fernando, Andrew, Brylee, Jace, Lainey, Sofia, and Gunnar. He was also survived by a host of family and friends not mentioned above. He will be missed by everyone A funeral service will be held at the Grace Baptist Church at 1:00 P.M. Monday, June 14 , 2021. Burial will follow at Mill Springs National Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Pulaski Funeral Home, Sunday from 5 to 7 P.M. and at Grace Baptist Church, Monday from 12:00 P.M. until time for services. In lieu of flowers the family requests expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the Grace Baptist Church Building Fund or the Gideon Memorial Bible Plan. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post #38 Pulaski Funeral Home is honored to assist the Palmer family with arrangements.
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