Our dear husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, Max S. Palmer passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home outside of Sugar City, Idaho on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Max had Parkinson's Disease, which he battled for 7 years.
Max was born May 31, 1937 in Preston, Idaho. He was the third of five sons and three daughters born to Shirley and Harriet Swainston Palmer. He was raised on the family dairy farm in Winder, Idaho, where he quickly learned the value of hard work. He was taught at a young age from his father how to handle a team of horses. He continued with this tradition in feeding his own livestock and attending draft horse pulling competitions in various states throughout the rest of his life.
He attended school in Preston, Idaho and graduated from Preston High School in 1955. Max married his high school sweetheart, Ranee "Kate" Knudsen, on November 18, 1955 in the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were blessed with seven children: Kem, Rick, Chuck "Cliff," Jodee, Zane, Trudee, and Sonny. They celebrated 65 years of marriage last fall and were a great team raising the family and keeping their family business going.
Max and Kate moved their small family to Rexburg, Idaho in 1959 to start a new job for Slim Whittle at the Rexburg Livestock Auction. He later bought into the auction and developed his own style of self-taught auctioneering. After leaving the work of his dad's dairy, Max was determined not to milk another cow and started on a lifetime of horse trading, raising beef cows, and farming outside of Sugar City. In 1961 he moved his family to Dillon, Montana to help his father and brothers run a hay and cattle ranch. That didn't work out, so they returned to Sugar City and he continued his horse trading. He worked and traveled with Bish Jenkins as he learned the ropes of horse trading. He was known as being an honest and trustworthy dealer. After losing their home in the Teton Dam flood, he bought a larger farm across the road from their previous home and built up a nice set of corrals and a rodeo arena. The arena proved to be a good training ground for their children, their friends, and then their grandchildren to develop their rodeo and riding skills. With the help of his sons, he was able to enlarge the farm and ranch and expand into livestock trucking. Max started selling WW trailers with Bob Huskinson, and later became the first dealer for Trails West Trailers made in Preston. He received the Top Ten Dealer award for sales in 2000 and 2003.
Max enjoyed riding and training horses and taught himself how to rope. He had an eye for a good horse and was the calf roping champion in 1961 in the Montana Rodeo Association. In 1966 his love of rodeoing grew as he became a pick-up man first for Curley Angell, and then Max Hoggan. When Hoggan passed away he continued to work with the Hoggan Brothers Rodeo Company. He carried on with this passion for 29 years and was chosen by the cowboys to be the pick-up man at the Eastern Idaho Rodeo Finals every year until he retired. He was one of the best around and rode exceptional horses. Max served on the board of directors of the Madison County Fairgrounds and Eastern Idaho Association for many years. He was Soil and Water Conservationist Farmer of the Year in 1988 and Fremont and Madison Cattleman of the Year in 1997. He was nominated into the Idaho Horseman Hall of Fame in 2003 and was respected by all those who knew him.
Max was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in the bishopric during the trying times after the Teton Dam collapsed in 1976. He also served in many other callings through the years and remained faithful throughout his life.
Max was a hard worker and taught his children to do the same. The only vacations he took were always related to a rodeo, a horse pull, or to buy some livestock. Many of his grandchildren took up rodeoing and he enjoyed traveling to watch them. He would also support his grandchildren in their various sporting events and activities as they pursued different interests.
Max is survived by his sweet wife, Kate Palmer, who lovingly took care of him through the end with the loyal support and care of their children: Kem (Bonnie) Palmer of St. Anthony, Idaho, Rick (Sharee) Palmer of Sugar City, Idaho, Chuck "Cliff" Palmer of May, Idaho, Jodee (Aaron) Boots of St. Anthony, Idaho, Zane (Cheree) Palmer of Sugar City, Idaho, Trudee (Kyle) Klein, of Brigham City, Utah, and Sonny (Michelle) Palmer of St. Anthony, Idaho; 22 grandchildren (one deceased), and 19 great-grandchildren. Also, his brothers and sisters: William "Bill" (LaRue) Palmer of Dayton, Idaho, Joanne (Fred) Shaffer of St George, Utah, Kent (Karen) Palmer of Preston, Idaho, Earl (Diana) Palmer of Lewiston, Idaho, Calvin (Gail) Palmer of Ogden, Utah, Maurine (Gary) Graves of Preston, Idaho, and Harriet (Virgil) Bostwick of Preston, Idaho.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, Shirley and Harriet Palmer, and their granddaughter, Kelsie Palmer Munns.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Ambrea Wright from Aspen Health Care, who skillfully and compassionately assisted Max in his declining last weeks. We were able to fulfill his wishes to stay at home and be taken care of by many hours of help from his family.
Memorial contributions can be made in memory of Max to the District 7 High School Rodeo Association, c/o Jana Day, 4215 E. 550 N., Rigby, ID 83442, or a charity of your choice
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 2021 at the Sugar City Gray Church at 6 Teton Avenue. A viewing will be held Sunday, April 25 at Flamm Funeral Home in Rexburg from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and before the service on Monday from 9:30 until 10:45 at the church. Interment will be held at the Sugar City Cemetery.
Due to COVID concerns, masks are encouraged.
A link for the live stream will be posted at www.flammfh.com
the day of services.
Published by Post Register on Apr. 22, 2021.