Wasilla resident Dr. Martin Palmer, 81, died Jan. 3, 2009, at home from leukemia. "His final wish was to die at home, which was accomplished with the loving support of his family, wonderful friends and caregivers," his family wrote.
A memorial gathering is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Anchorage Senior Center. Call 248-1016 for details.
Martin was born Jan. 20, 1927, in Tallahassee, Fla., to Dr. Henry Edwards Palmer and Sarah Lucile Saxon. He lost his mother shortly after his birth and was raised in the loving embrace of his extended family, with his sister, Sarah, assuming the role of his lifelong nurturer, protector, mentor and best friend.
After serving in World War II, he received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University and in 1954 was the third generation of his family to graduate from John Hopkins University. Dr. Palmer practiced medicine in New Orleans for several years, lived in San Francisco for a short time, and moved to Anchorage in 1968. He fell in love with the natural beauty of Alaska and became enchanted by the quality of light in the northern latitudes, which he explored in several published poems and essays. He obtained an MFA from the University of Alaska and was a talented wordsmith and raconteur, his family wrote, winning several creative writing awards for his literary work.
Dr. Palmer practiced medicine in Anchorage for 37 years while also serving as an adjunct professor in English at UAA for many years. He loved teaching and was beloved by his students. He relocated to Wasilla in 2003, where he practiced medicine and also taught English at the UAA, Mat-Su Campus, until his retirement in 2005.
Dr. Palmer is survived by his sisters, Sarah Palmer Proctor of Tallahassee and Mary Palmer Collins of Eldorado Hills, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Dr. George S. Palmer, C. Bryan Palmer, Henry Palmer, Dr. Thomas M. Palmer and Hugh Archer Palmer.
He is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
"Martin will be deeply missed by his family and many friends all over the world," his family also wrote. "He is remembered for his distinctive voice, described as 'warm honey dripping off a spoon,' his far-ranging intellect and his incisive wit."
Arrangements were with Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Anchorage Daily News from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2009.