Champion of the Month

Jerry Palmer Share

Mar 8, 2018  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Van Buren Res­i­dent, Jer­ry Palmer, was born in 1942. Upon grad­u­at­ing with an Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing degree from Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty, he joined the U.S. Army. Jer­ry went through jump school and served as an ordi­nance offi­cer while deployed in Ger­many. After hon­or­able dis­charge, he began a long career (32 years) with Indi­ana Michi­gan Pow­er. Upon retire­ment, Jer­ry remained active with elec­tri­cal work part-time, but began enjoy­ing life more and focused on giv­ing back. Jer­ry Palmer is known to have com­plet­ed over 1200 sky­dives, and achieved Jump Mas­ter Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He even per­formed two free-fall sky­dives off of El Cap­i­tan Moun­tain at Yosemite Nation­al Park. Jer­ry also enter­tained the local com­mu­ni­ty over the years through pre­ci­sion jumps.

Jer­ry always had a pas­sion for help­ing the com­mu­ni­ty through his elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing exper­tise. He was heav­i­ly involved with the Mar­i­on East­er Pageant, Van Buren Pop­corn Fes­ti­val, Mar­i­on Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra, and many oth­er com­mu­ni­ty event organizations. 

Jer­ry took inter­est in design­ing and devel­op­ing web­sites, and took ini­tia­tives to cre­ate and man­age near­ly 50 of them, high­light­ing sto­ries and pho­tos for local groups includ­ing fire depart­ments, promi­nent­ly the New York Fire Depart­ment Ten House of whom he had devel­oped a rela­tion­ship after vis­it­ing them after 911.

Pho­tog­ra­phy was also a ser­vice Jer­ry pro­vid­ed on a vol­un­teer basis. 

On Decem­ber 9th, 2017, the life-long Grant Coun­ty res­i­dent passed away at the age of 75. Although, he nev­er sought recog­ni­tion for his seem­ing­ly infi­nite con­tri­bu­tions, he will for­ev­er be known as a cham­pi­on in the com­mu­ni­ty. It was evi­dent that Jer­ry loved his coun­try and paid respects in the best way he knew how for those who serve or served. 

Jerry’s Face­book account was re-estab­lished as Remem­ber­ing Jer­ry Palmer” for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to read and post mem­o­ries of him.

Below are some notable web­sites Jer­ry cre­at­ed and main­tained over the years. 


Pho­to by Eric Marshall

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