Gwen Shirley Palmer, 75, longtime Moses Lake resident, died in her home with her beloved family around her Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.
Gwen was born March 26, 1937, in Salem, Idaho, to Leo G. and Mary (Garner) Shirley. Gwen wasfull of life and enjoyed doing just about everything! She graduated from Sugar-Salem High School. During this time, she dated Martell Palmer, whom she married Oct. 27, 1955, in the Idaho Falls Temple. Just two days after getting married, she and her new husband packed up and moved to Moses Lake, Wash., on Oct. 29, 1955.
Later in 1959, Gwen and the family moved to Tulelake, Calif. She enjoyed church and the callings she received to serve in the church. Gwen continued to perfect her talent in making quilts, and made many friends with her special smile and genuine caring for others, and she had many opportunities to host parties and to socialize.
In 1964, Gwen and her family moved back to Moses Lake. After arriving, Gwen and her husband, Martell, picked up right where they left off. She received church callings and made more new friends.
Gwen and Martell started a second job, which soon became their life. They bought a little farm and worked long, hard hours to make the land prosper. She was always a true "help-mate" to her husband; she changed water, drove truck during harvest and fed baby calves milk bottles, all while holding her home together, doing the laundry, vacuuming and making sure every meal was ready for her family.
Later on, she got a job in the Grant County Commissioners Office as a secretary. During the 23 years she worked there, she met many people who came to know her loving personality, and many special friendships were created.
Gwen was a dedicated, lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved it. She lived it. She served selflessly and valiantly in many callings, ranging from Sunbeam teacher to Relief Society president. She spent many hours in service and showing love, and she would always put others before herself.
Gwen is survived by her eternal companion and husband, R. Martell Palmer; children, Brad (Melode) Palmer, Craig (Stacie) Palmer, Hollie (Barry) Kent and Travis (Sara) Palmer; 17 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and siblings, Helen (Grant) Belnap, Mack (Shanna) Shirley, Bruce (Lolita) Shirley, LeeAnn (Mel) Bryson, Wade (Beth) Shirley, Leo (Karen) Shirley and Lynn (Shawna) Shirley.
Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Mary Shirley.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Moses Lake Stake Center, 1515 S. Division St. in Moses Lake, Wash. Burial will be in Pioneer Memorial Gardens in Moses Lake. Family and friends are invited to share memories and sign the online guestbook at www.carverfamilyfuneralhome.com. Gwen's family has asked Carver Family Funeral Home to care for arrangements.