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Palmer H. White, M.D. 1937-2013 On September 4, 2013, Dr. Palmer H. White passed away after a long illness at his home in Novato, California surrounded by his loved ones. Palmer was born in Winnetka, Illinois April of 1937 where he was one of four brothers, raised by his parents Corda and Ferris White. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka Illinois and later attended Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts. Palmer's classmates remember him for his kind nature, his charisma, his athletic prowess and his fun personality. Palmer lived life to its fullest. A dedicated public servant, he committed much of his life to the assistance of others in need. He attended medical school at Northwestern University and following medical school, Palmer was commissioned as a Captain in the US Army, where he served as an Army doctor in Germany and Italy between 1964 and 1968. He continued his medical career in Los Angeles where he completed his surgery residency at UCLA Harbor General Hospital. He eventually moved to Novato, California where he was one of two general surgeons at Novato Community Hospital. Palmer immediately fell in love with the city of Novato and committed himself to the community. He took call for the emergency room every other night and every other weekend for more than 30 years. He served as Chief of Staff at the hospital for over 17 years. He held a position on the Medical Executive Committee of the hospital for 27 years and chaired the Medical Staff's Quality Review Committee for 12 years eventually becoming Medical Advisor. He was on the board of the Marin Independent Physicians Association. He served as the first year president of the Novato Chapter of the Cancer Society. Delivering good medicine to his community was his passion. To this end, he played an integral role in the process that eventually led to the building of a new Novato Community Hospital next to the Vintage Oaks Business Park. He worked to establish the Novato Health Partnership Program with the Novato Unified School District and the Novato Community Hospital which to this day provides health care for children in Novato who do not have health insurance. In 1996 he was presented with the award for Physician of the Year by the Marin Medical Society. Upon retiring from his surgical practice, Palmer and his wife Allison, an RN, opened Laser Light Treatment Center where he combined his vascular surgery expertise with cutting edge laser technology and developed innovative procedures for eliminating painful and unsightly leg veins. In addition to enjoying his work, Palmer was a lover of sports, especially golf, and competitive fun. Many friends and family share fond memories of Palmer's athletic skills. In addition to excelling in several sports during his high school years, he was a talented lacrosse player at William's College, where he was praised by friends for once scoring the winning goal for his team in a victory over rival Yale University. He represented his Army unit in sports, where he competed against other units in competitions across Europe. He loved to ski. However, the most significant competitive events in his life were those he engaged in during summer vacations in Lakeside Michigan where inter and intra family rivalries were enduring institutions both during daytime sports and in the evenings at the card table. Despite his many interests, anyone who knew Palmer quickly learned that what he ultimately valued most was his family. He was a loving grandfather to Sarah, Blake, Estee and Reese. He only missed meeting his fifth grandchild Camryn by a few days, as Camryn was born just four days after his passing. He was a proud father of his five children Deborah, Alex, Eric, Nate and Sam. He loved his brothers, Terry, Steve and Jim. He was a dedicated husband to his wife Allison, the true love of his life, of 38 years. So many of his favorite moments throughout his life were spent with his family and friends whom he loved so much. Those who knew and loved him will miss his calls to action, his mischievous smile, the twinkle in his eyes and his sweet embrace. A memorial service celebrating Palmer's life will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the New Beginnings, Key Room located at 1399 N. Hamilton Parkway in Novato. Palmer's family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Novato Community Hospital Foundation. Donations are accepted online via the foundation's website at http://www.novatocommunity.org/foundation/gift.html#Donate Now Online and through other channels by contacting Margaret D. Walker, Fund Development Officer for Novato Community Hospital at 165 Rowland Way Ste #307 Novato, Ca. 94945; Tel: 415.209-1828; Email: walkermd@sutterhealth.org
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Sept. 22, 2013
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