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Dr. G. Dean Palmer, 78

RICE, May 22 – Dr. G. Dean Palmer, 78, of Rice, passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2012, at home. He touched so many lives with his enthusiasm and positive outlook on life. He always looked forward and had an encouraging word as he always wanted to make those around him smile. He was born in Ada, OK, on November 27, 1933.

Dr. Palmer served in the Army at Ft. Hood, TX, from 1953 until 1955. He received his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Northern Colorado in 1958 and 1959, and his Doctor of Education degree from Montana State University in 1967. He taught college students for over 40 years, teaching marketing and management courses at Longwood for the last 15 of those years from 1988 until 2003, at a time when it was still acceptable to throw chalkboard erasers at students who slept in class. Dr. Palmer was awarded the Fuqua Excellence in Teaching award at Longwood four times, which were awarded based on votes by business alumni (he likely would have won more, but he could only win every other year). He also was awarded the Student Faculty Award at Longwood, which was awarded by a student committee. His passion for teaching and his concern for each student were ever evident in the classroom and as their academic advisor and the advisor for student organizations.

He became a 3rd Degree Mason in 1957, in Las Animas, CO, and a 32nd Degree Mason, Scottish Rite, in 1978, in Denver, CO. He was currently a dual member of the Burke Lodge #147 and the Amelia Lodge #101.

Dr. Palmer became a member of the Shrine in 1978 and was active in the ACCA Temple of Richmond through the Southside Shrine Club, the ACCA Million Dollar Band and the ACCA Hospital Committee which helped to find children who could benefit from the services provided by the Shriners Hospitals for Children. He served as the public relations chairman for ACCA Temple from 2006 -2011. He was also a member of the Royal Order of Jesters – Richmond Court #16; the Grand Chapter of Virginia, Royal Arch Masons; and the Grand Chapter of Virginia Commandry.

Dr. Palmer was most passionate about his family and loved being with them and sharing stories. In addition, he loved the challenge of selling and at various times sold just about anything you, or he, could think of, from real estate to gems. He loved to drink coffee and Miller Lite beer, and a little Gentleman Jack when he could get away with it. Dr. Palmer also loved the Denver Broncos and despised the Oakland Raiders, for reasons he believed were quite obvious.

He is survived by his wife, Kristine Palmer; four children, Mike Palmer of Denver, CO, Grace Widdicombe and husband, Greg of Eugene, OR, Ken Palmer and wife, Becky of Wilmington, NC, and Dianne Hankla of Minot, ND; three stepchildren, Jason Harbour and wife, Autumn of Richmond, Matthew Harbour of Wilmington, NC, and Stephanie Harbour of San Francisco, CA; eight grandchildren, Travis and Jacob Anderson, Lauren and Andie Hankla, Beth and Amy Palmer, and Liam and Brennan Harbour; sister, Mercedes Baublits of Eatonville, WA; brother-in-law, Rick Nelson and wife, Linda of Sharpsburg, IA; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife and the mother of his four children, Willma Palmer, in Greeley, CO, on November 16, 1981, his parents, Glenn and Ora Palmer and stepfather Herb Fish.

The funeral service will be held Friday, May 25, at the Puckett Funeral Home at 11 a.m.

The family will receive friends Thursday, May 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a Masonic service at 7 p.m.

Please make donations to the Greenville Shriners Hospital for Children or the ACCA Temple Hospital Transportation fund. Either can be sent to the ACCA Temple, 1712 Bellevue Ave, Richmond, VA 23227.

Puckett Funeral Home, Farmville, is in charge of arrangements. www.puckettfh.com