Dean Warren Palmer was born in a small town named Leroy, PA where he grew up on a Dairy Farm. His parents, Edith and Paul Palmer, passed away in 1990. He graduated from Canton High School in 1953 and joined the Army, as a proud member of the 82nd Airborne division, jumping as a paratrooper. He had several hundred recorded jumps from an airplane, not to the surprise of any of us! Dean was a proud veteran and loved his country. He came back to the states and went to Williamsport Area Community College on the GI bill and soon started his own business. He was the owner and CEO of Palmer Industrial Coatings Inc. and celebrated 50 years in business before he retired in 2011.
Dean was an avid hunter and fisherman. He spent countless hours working for and donating to local outdoor preservation groups, community projects and youth programs. He was a longtime sponsor of the John Bower Basketball League and the West End Babe Ruth Baseball League. He was a board member of the Williamsport YMCA for years and managed the project building of the Picklener Arena at the YMCA.
Dean was a member of the former Antlers Club in Williamsport, Pa. and the Wheel Inn in Ralston, Pa. He was a past officer and President of the Newberry Lions Club. Along with being a published author for Safari Magazine, he was a member of the Wild Sheep Federation, and the Boone and Crockett club. He has several record trophies on record.
Dean was a Past Chairman and committee member of the West Branch Ducks Unlimited organization raising money for the protection of waterfowl.
Dean was also a member of the Seaside Park Yacht Club and owned a beach house in Seaside Park for many years. He spent many weekends deep sea fishing in his 36’ Boston Whaler. His company built the Casino Pier Waterpark at Seaside Heights in 1987. It stood tall during the Sandy Hurricane, although some parts were recently rebuilt.
His cabin was his Happy Place in Leroy, Pa., near Canton Pa., just up the road from his homestead farm. The cabin is named “Crofut Lodge” and displays his trophies, beautiful mounts, Indian Arrowhead collections from the Crofut Indians, and many fun things for the thousands of people who have visited “The Cabin” to enjoy. It is a museum in itself. The dancing and singing fish, he did not care for too much. From Ronco rotisserie cook off’s, to story after story, many memories are embedded in many people’s minds. The “Hunters Ball” was an annual event where men would dress up with hats and swords, and visitors would vote and acquire a trophy for the best dressed Hunter. Many hunters and friends visited the cabin from Maine, New Jersey and other places for over 35 years. They still come! Local friends and hunters have come to the cabin for many years, and some have even bought land and built their own cabins.
Many trips to exciting places for Dean included, Russia, Mongolia, Ireland, Iceland, and Normandy Beach.
He wrote an article about his famous trip to Africa for a Safari in 1986 which was published in Safari Magazine. He visited Kodiak, Alaska several times and bagged a trophy Brown Bear. Dean lived in an Igloo for 10 days in the Northwest Territories and had many stories to tell about all of these trips, which his family and friends still enjoy reminiscing about.
At the age of 72, Dean rode his Bergman 650 motorcycle to Alaska all the way from Williamsport, covering over 11,000 miles in 21 days. A few years later he rode the Iditarod Dog sled trail, also in Alaska. His life was full of amazing and incredible adventures.
His lovely Bride, Delorse Palmer, of 58 years (Sept 24, 1961) was by his side for many of these adventures. They traveled to Germany, Mexico, Italy, London, Puerto Rico, Arizona, Florida and many other places for fun times. They had four children, Dina Palmer Wascher (Darrin), Mark Paul Palmer, Lori Palmer Kilheeney (Robert Jeirles) and the late Julia Palmer Saul (Ted). Beautiful Julia passed away of Cancer in 2014. Together they had many grandchildren who they loved dearly including the late Ryan Matthew Jasper, Lyndsay Jasper Huerbin (Shawn), Austin Kilheeney, Emily Kilheeny, Cory Kilheeney (Mary), Sydney Palmer, Anna Winters (Eric), Ashley Saul, Rose Saul, Lily Saul, Sage Saul, and Dillan Saul. Also surviving are great-grandchildren Jewelana Jasper, Lydia Jasper, Amelia Huerbin, Kendra Kilheeney, and Bentley Saul. Delorse was his caretaker as he spent his last days watching old cowboy movies and eating his favorite foods, alongside of his beloved pets including Jove, Max, Juju and 7 cats. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, July 22, 2019 after living a full and well-lived life that will always be remembered and admired by his family and friends, both near and far.
Dean and Delorse are huge animal lovers and would love any memorial contributions be made in his name to the Lycoming County SPCA, 2805 Reach Road, Williamsport, PA 17701. His family especially Delorse would like to thank Residential Hospice for helping take such good and loving care of Dean at home.
Visitation will be held at Sanders Mortuary, 821 Diamond St. Williamsport, on Saturday July 27th beginning at 12:30 PM, followed by some great stories and memories shared by family and friends at 2 pm.
As a veteran, Dean will be honored by a 21-gun salute to conclude the service and friends may join us at the Woodward Fire Company Hall for food and more stories following the service.
A life celebration will also be held for Canton family and friends on Saturday August 17th at the Leroy Community Association School House in Leroy Pennsylvania at 11 a.m.