Albert Lee Palmer died peacefully late Friday morning, March 22, 2013 at his home in Claypool, Gila County, Ariz. following a lengthy illness with his loving family at his bedside. He was 87 years old. Al, as he was affectionately known, was born on Oct. 6, 1925 in Leon, Love County, Okla. to his parents, the late J.D. and Viola Mae (Brown) Palmer.
As a young man he enlisted in The United States Army at the tail end of World War II. He had an MP assignment and served in Italy, helping the Italian people restore their country to its former greatness and maintain the peace that was so crucial in doing so.
He moved to Arizona 57 years ago, making his home in Claypool, Ariz. He began a long and successful career working for the Inspiration Consolidated Copper Company in Miami, Ariz. He started as a laborer and, at the time of his retirement in 1987, he was a heavy equipment shovel operator.
Al met the true love of his life, the former Hope Carl Raaum, when she was 18. She flew from Chicago to return to her homeland in Arizona to visit her mother, Cora, in Miami. The day she arrived, Cora introduced her to 31-year-old Al Palmer. Al asked Hope out for dinner that night and it was then that Hope knew this cowboy would be her husband and, sure enough, they tied the knot three weeks later on Oct. 31, 1956 in Miami, Ariz. The couple most recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary together and truly lived a wonderful and happy life together.
Throughout his life, Al had a special affinity for horses. As a young cowboy, Al rode in Arizona rodeos and was known for his fine ability to train a horse, and never lost his touch for “horse trading!” He was an exceptional calf roper and won many ribbons and trophies for his roping skills.
Friends and family rarely saw Al without a cup of coffee and a cigarette between his fingers wearing his Levis, boots, and cowboy hat that was only taken off as he climbed into bed at night and put back on before stepping out of the bedroom. Hope says, “I often wondered if he took a shower in that hat!”
Hope recalls that being married to a cowboy was not always easy, especially when she thought one of the kids needed shoes and Al, winning out, bought a new set of shoes for the horse instead. He did, however, pass his passion for the peacefulness of the great out-of-doors down to his children and grandchildren.
He also taught them the value of hard work and the importance of making an honest living. He was their example of honesty, integrity and respect. Too, he instilled in each one of them the importance of looking out for their neighbors and being outstanding upright citizens. Al also reminded them to “stay out of trouble.” One of the most memorable things that his family remembers him always saying was, “No matter what hat you wear, treat others the way you want to be treated.” That was the mantra his entire family has lived by for many, many years.
In the last few years, Al enjoyed reading Westerns, taking rides in the truck with one of his sons, and going out for breakfast. Al leaves behind many good memories for those who knew him. This gentle man will be missed by many but, none will miss him more than his dear family.
Albert Lee Palmer is survived by his wife, Hope Carl Palmer of Claypool, Ariz.; 10 children: Allan (Vice) Palmer of Globe, Ariz., Dan Palmer of Globe, Ariz., Brant (Maurisa “Risa”) Palmer of Claypool, Ariz., Bryon (Dynell) Palmer of Claypool, Ariz., Mandy (David) Franquero of Gilbert, Ariz., Sandy Palmer of Claypool, Ariz., David Palmer of Claypool, Ariz., Randy (Jaycee) Palmer of Globe, Ariz., Ronny Palmer of Claypool, Ariz., Sean Palmer of Tacoma, Wash.; two brothers: Peyton Palmer of Marietta, Okla., Kenneth (Ann) Palmer of Burneyville, Okla.; 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Along with his parents, Al was preceded in death by his three sisters: Helen Palmer, Hazel and Bonnie Mae Palmer.
The funeral service for Al began at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Owens Livingston Mortuary’s White Mountain Chapel, 320 N. 9th Street in Show Low, Ariz. The concluding service with military honors immediately followed at the Lakeside Cemetery in Lakeside, Ariz.
The Palmer Family is thankful for all of the expressions of sympathy they have received during this difficult time and are especially grateful for all of the prayers offered up on their behalf.
Owens Livingston Mortuary – White Mountain Chapel handled the arrangements. For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign our online guest book, we invite you to visit our website at www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com.