Bill was born on June 18, 1938 to Hazel and Francis Palmer in West Long Branch, New Jersey. On, December 30th, Bill passed away at age of 82. He attended West Long Branch school system, Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He graduated from Monmouth University.
Bill and his parents owned and operated Marpal Disposal in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Although a successful business owner, Bill is probably better known as a swim coach. He was a founder of Central Jersey Aquatic Club (CJAC), along with Frank Elm of Rutgers. CJAC was number two in the United States in women's swimming. Bill coached numerous national champions, including Olympians and Olympic gold medal winners, and world record holders.
Bill is survived by four children: Bill Jr. (Mary Ava) Palmer from Ramona, California, Dee Dee Palmer from Vallecito, Colorado, Judi (Tim) Smith from Newark, Delaware, and surrogate daughter, Peggy (Tim) Donovan from Auburn, New Hampshire. He has four grandchildren: Sarah Palmer from Sante Fe, NM, Dr. Kieran Smith from Fort Lupton, CO, Katie Donavon from New York City, and Meggie Donavon from New Hampshire. Also, he is survived by his sister, Karen Palmer of Brielle, New Jersey.
After selling his business, Bill moved to Durango, Colorado, in 1996. While in Durango, he began coaching the Durango Masters Swim Team. Durango Masters has had many state champions and finished second place numerous times in Colorado and first in medium-sized teams. Bill has been coach of the year with both USMS in New Jersey and masters swimming in Colorado.
Bill had passions for skiing, biking, and triathlons. He competed in almost 200 triathlons, including the Hawaii Ironman. He was known for saying exactly what he thought and had many close friends.
He is survived by his wife, MaryAnne Nelson. Memories will be shared at a later date with a toast to Bill's life afterward at his home in Durango. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Best Friends of Animals, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah, 84741.
Bill always said that he loved animals as well as most people.
Published in The Durango Herald on Dec. 31, 2020.