Sunday, November 2, 2008

Obituary - Charlo, Montana

We would clear the Mission Mountains of all the trees
if we had to use paper to list all the friends and family
involved in Denny’s life.

Dennis Mearl Palmer
1953 - 2008

— ¤ — ¤ —

Montana Designated Driver

Those of you who read the footnoteMaven will recognize the Mission Mountains in the photograph above from several of my Montana articles. Denny owned and loved the dog who became famous on Montana postcards as the "Montana Designated Driver." Years ago, Denny would set up a table at functions and have the dog autograph the postcard in return for a charitable contribution. He was always up to something! Denny is the first Palmer of our generation to break camp, he will be greatly missed.

— ¤ — ¤ —

Denny Palmer, 55, of Charlo, took his final pack trip on Tuesday, 28 October 2008, at his favorite home away from home, Fish Creek, near Alberton, Montana, after a wonderful weekend of hunting and reliving old times around the campfire with both his brothers, a niece, a nephew and friends, laughing until their sides ached. Denny was the second child born to Delbert and Bernice Palmer of Charlo on Sept. 6, 1953, in Missoula. “He was in a hurry then and never slowed down,” his mom said.

Denny was a mischievous child as he grew and attended school in Charlo and graduated with the class of 1972. Upon graduating, Denny worked as a security guard in Nevada, the movie theater in Ronan, Allentown in Charlo, and the city of Ronan.

On July 25, 1980, he married the love of his life Kay Brock at the family park. The couple recently celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. Denny and Kay lived in Ronan where he operated his landscaping business and Kay worked for the Ronan Medical Clinic. In the spring of 2002 they left their urban life and moved into the big pink house on the family farm where he grew up in Charlo.

Denny had an infectious personality and laugh that touched so many and was regarded as “The Master of Pranks.” Everyone waited anxiously every year for the appearance of the “Lucky Leprechaun” on his dashing green horse during the St. Paddy’s Day parade in Ronan, or driving his dad’s tractor and the beautifully manicured manure spreader down the streets of Charlo for the Fourth of July celebration.

Denny was involved in many projects and organizations including Ronan City Beautification, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mission Valley Humane Society, Ronan Volunteer Fire Department and the conductor of the Bailey Ridge Band, just to name a few - all of which reflect his love for animals and the great outdoors.

Denny is survived by his wife, Kay, and their four-legged children, Smokey Joe, Ace and Stanley Steamer Palmer; his Grandmother, Rachel Shriner of Libby; his Mom and Dad, Bernice and Del Palmer of Charlo; Brother, Skip (Sue) of Charlo; Niece, Jennifer Palmer-Nicholson (Jereme) Greydon, Rachel, Logan of Deer Lodge; Nephew, Justin Palmer of Charlo; Brother, David (Kim) of Ronan; Nephews, Brian (Sue) Tori, Billy, Richard, Macao, Casey; Niece, Caysie Palmer-Hertz (Adam) of Charlo; Niece, Stacy Palmer (Rich) Bayleigh, Olyvia; Sister, Charlene Palmer of Ronan; Nephew, Benjamin Montgomery of Atlanta, Ga.; Cousin/Brother, Eddie (Jan) Bowers of Spokane; Uncle, Louis Palmer of Charlo; Cousin, Harv Palmer (Linda) of Preston, WA; Cousin, Margaret Palmer Hurd (Gary) of Whitefish, MT; Cousin, Marjorie Palmer Harper (Dan) of Missoula, MT; Cousin, Janice Elaine Palmer of Stevensville, MT; Aunt, Lois Statler of Spokane; Aunt Elvira and Uncle Ben both of Libby.

He was preceded in death by Grandparents, E.M and Olive Palmer; Uncle, Bill Palmer; Aunt, Lucille Palmer of Charlo; Grandpa, Dee Shriner; Aunt, Ruth Hutton; Cousins, Jimmy and Lori Osborne of Libby.

Please join the family in a time of jokes and storytelling in celebration of Denny’s life Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Ronan Community Center from noon to 4 p.m. A potluck meal will be served.

In lieu of flowers there has been a Dennis Palmer Memorial Fund set up at Community Bank of Ronan, Montana.



Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I'm very for for your loss.

November 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Jasia said...

Denny sounds like someone I would have liked to have known... a colorful character to be sure. Thanks for sharing him with us. I'm so sorry for your loss.

November 2, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Apple & Jasia:

You are two of my first blogging friends; and those are the best.

Thank you both! Denny was a firecracker.


November 2, 2008 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Miriam Robbins said...

I love this obituary: a celebration of his life and his liveliness! I'm sorry for your loss, but thanks for sharing a part of it--and Denny--with us.

November 2, 2008 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Sheri Fenley said...

I expressed my feelings to you over at facebook but wanted to make sure you knew that I lit a candle and said a prayer to St. John of Wayne to make sure your guy has a horse when he gets there.

Sheri Fenley
(who is so going to hell for blasphemy)

November 2, 2008 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


I loved this obituary as well. Also, he had requested a wake rather than a funeral. So there were spirits, his green horse, and Irish music. A celebration of his life.


November 3, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


I firmly believe God has a sense of humor. If not, how do you account for me?


November 3, 2008 at 9:07 AM  

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