James Palm

JAMES M. PALM, 89 ROCKFORD - James M. Palm, 89, of Rockford died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, after a short illness. He was born Feb. 5, 1923, in Rockford to Floyd R. and Victoria (Christianson) Palm. Jim was a 1941 graduate of East High School and received his bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Illinois in 1947. He was an active member of First Evangelical Free Church and Emmanuel Lutheran Church for many years. On July 10, 1945, Jim and John Palm (identical twins) married their childhood sweethearts and next-door neighbors, Marilyn (Mary) and Kathryn (Katie) Erickson (sisters) in a double wedding at First Evangelical Free Church. Mary predeceased him on Sept. 4, 2005. Jim was first employed at Barber Colman, then became co-owner of Rockford Engineered Products Company (REPCO) and The Last Straw Ice Cream Parlor and Family Restaurant with his brother, John for many years. Jim was also involved with Forest Hall for Girls, Protestant Community Services, Brightside, Golden Agers, Forest Hills Country Club and Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He thoroughly enjoyed photography as well as golfing, boating and vacationing with family and friends. He also cherished special family time along with fellowship with the couples in their potluck group. He and Mary had a very special bond with John and Katie over the years in all aspects of their lives. Most importantly, Jim's love and devotion to Mary for more than 60 years was most precious to him and especially evident to all who knew them. Jim will be remembered as a man of character and principle, a wonderful husband and caregiver, a loyal and generous provider to his family, and an exceptional role model and example to his children and grandchildren. We will be forever inspired by his steadfast Christian faith and love of family. He is survived by daughter, Barb (John) Gibson of St. Charles; sons, Jay (Lorraine) Palm of St. Louis, Rick (Gay) Palm of Littleton, Colo., Bill (Linda) Palm of Rockford and Bob (Linda) Palm of Roscoe; grandchildren, Sarah (Brad) Kilbey, Anne (Noah) Luken, Lindsay (Michael) Casten, Julie (Chad) Frizzell, Jayson (Tarrah) Palm, Melissa (Mike) Payne, Daniel (Courtney) Palm, David Palm, Trista (Austin) Larson, Taryn Palm, Jeff Palm, Michael Palm, Craig Palm and Eric Palm; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, John R. Palm; sisters-in-law, Kathryn Palm, Evelyn Palm and Barbara Erickson. Also predeceased by parents; brother, Floyd R. Palm; brother-in-law, Karl Erickson; and niece, Carol Palm. Service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at First Evangelical Free Church, 2223 N. Mulford Road, with visitation from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.; the Rev. Bertie Holmgren will officiate. Private burial in Arlington Memorial Park. A memorial donation in Jim Palm's memory to any of these organizations would be welcomed: Families of SMA (in honor of Ella Casten, one of Jim's great- granddaughters), 925 Busse Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 (or visit fsma.org); First Evangelical Free Church; or Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center, 3470 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, IL 61114. Arrangements by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services Ltd. To share a memory or condolence, visit olsonfh.com.

Published in Rockford Register Star from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013