Zelma Edith Coan Palmer DELEON- Zelma Edith Coan Palmer passed away on February 27, 2013, one month short of her 90th birthday here on Earth. She was born at home on March 31, 1923 in Camp Springs, Texas, southwest of Rotan, and died in Euless, Texas, near her family, after a year-long battle with increasing memory loss and related health issues. Proud to be a Texan, Zelma was a plucky, brave woman for her time and very accomplished for a country girl. She was a cross country traveler at 18 in 1940, when she went to Washington, DC to work as a clerk with the Navy Department before and during the early part of WWII; registered nurse and Lieutenant in the Army Reserves during and after the war; a charge nurse at Central Plains Hospital in Plainview, Texas in the 1970-1980s; excellent seamstress and quilter; great cook, even a gourmet chef; canning, preserving and chicken butchering expert; wife; farmer; unpaid nurse in the Halfway community west of Plainview; faithful Southern Baptist and vacation bible school teacher; accomplished choral bell ringer and oil painter (discovering these talents at 75 with the help of her choir director at Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas); loyal friend; and, dedicated and loving mother, grandmother, aunt and sister. Her mission in this lifetime was to heal, comfort and take care of everyone who crossed her path, both emotionally and physically. What we all remember about her is that she loved each of us while she was here. Just as she participated in the national Women's Health Study for 40 years after it started in 1972, Zelma requested that her body be donated for medical research (always the nurse); and, she had some interesting medical conundrums, along with living to be 90 years old. Immediate memorial services will be private, with a private burial in several months after her ashes are returned. Zelma's earthly remains will be buried next to several generations of her parents and family in DeLeon, Texas. Zelma is survived by her brother, Lamoyn (Lee) Coan, and by her four children, Diane, Dana, Dean and Don and their families. Her husband and the father of her children, Emmett Palmer, preceded her in death in 1995. The family requests that any memorials be donations to either the Jose Guzman Foundation, dedicated to support and care of memory care patients and located in Colleyville, Texas, or to HospicePlus, dedicated to patient and family support and care during our transitions and located in Dallas, Texas.
Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Mar. 10, 2013