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Joseph R. Palmer


1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Joseph R. Palmer Obituary
Palmer Joseph R. Palmer, Ph.D., ("Joe", "Dad", "Gapa", "Uncle Joe"), a long-time resident of Bexley, passed away March 10, 2017 at Wesley Ridge at the age of 85. Born March 22, 1931 in Wagram, Licking County, Ohio, the son of Russell R. and Mildred B. Palmer, he attended the Etna Licking County public schools where in first grade he met Patricia (then "Patty") Weaver, who would become his life-long love. He graduated from Etna High School in 1949 and enrolled at Muskingum College where he was a member of the Mace Club. Following his freshman year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Stationed in Washington D.C. with a "desk-job" he spent evenings selling Wear-Ever pots and pans, door-to-door, to the young, single, female office workers in the area. Few were the women who could resist Joe's smile, his Navy uniform, and his steel-toed shoe, strategically wedged in the door when opened. Eventually he finagled his way to an assignment on the USS Macon and enjoyed a 6-month tour of the Mediterranean Sea and its ports-of-call. Upon discharge, Joe returned to central Ohio and his sweetheart Patty. They were married in 1955. Joe received a BS in Social Administration from Ohio State in 1956; the MSW degree from Michigan State in 1960; and a PhD in Criminology from Ohio State in 1970. Joe's career chronology was as follows: 1960-61 Parole Officer - Kalamazoo, MI; 1961-65 case analyst - Ohio Adult Parole Authority; 1965-1970 Member (Chairman '68-'70) -Ohio Parole Board; 1970-74 Deputy Director - Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation & Correction; 1974-'82 Deputy Director - Ohio Dept. of Youth Services; 1983 Senior Fellow-National Institute of Corrections (Wash D.C.); 1984-'88 President - National Academy of Corrections (Boulder, Colo.); 1988-'92 Administrator - Ohio Dept. of Mental Health; 1992-2015 Private Dispute Mediation - Mediation Services of Ohio. Throughout his civilian career, Joe served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Joe was an example to all as a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, soldier, public servant, community leader and most of all a follower of Jesus Christ. He was a member of Bexley United Methodist Church for 56 years. He loved people, found value in everyone, and everyone who knew him knew they were valued. He enjoyed spending time on the golf course with sons and friends. Joe received numerous awards in recognition of his career accomplishments. But his four children most treasure his being named "Father of the Year" in 1967 by the Bexley United Methodist Church Men's Club. Other recognitions include induction into the Ohio State University College of Social Work "Hall of Fame" in 2012. In 1999, sons Matt and Mark honored their father by naming their wealth management firm The Joseph Group. Joe is predeceased by his wife Pat who passed in 2015, his parents, his brother David, and brothers-in-law Jim Stotler and Bob Fickle. He is survived by his children, Mark (Laurie) Palmer and sons, Grant and Joe; Matt (Lisa) Palmer and daughters, Layne (Patrick) Pratt, Catherine (Josh - and their son, Henry) Kilmer, and Mary Grace; Andy (Lori) Palmer and daughters, Ellie and Abby; and Mary Beth (Mike Duffy) and daughters, Tricia and Kate, and sons, Jim and Ray. Also surviving is sister-in-law, Betty Stotler; brother-in-law, Larry Weaver (Pat); sister-in-law, Mary Fickle; and sister-in-law, Beverly Palmer. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and friends: including his fellow "Wizards" Mike Herrel, Hugo Anderson, and Russ Clark. A private burial service was held Monday, March 13, 2017 at Glen Rest Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Friday evening, March 24, 2017 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Bexley United Methodist Church, 2657 East Broad Street, Bexley. A light brunch and an additional opportunity for the family to receive friends will take place at the Church on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 12 noon-1 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. Rev. Becky Piatt will preside. Gifts in memory of Joe may be made to: Bexley United Methodist Church, 2657 East Broad Street, Bexley, Ohio 43209; Wesley Ridge, 2225 Taylor Park Road, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068; the Dr. Joseph R. Palmer Scholarship Fund at the Ohio State University College of Social Work, Stillman Hall, 1947 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1162; or any .
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Mar. 18 to Mar. 19, 2017
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