Robert P. Palmer, Sr. “Bob”

December 20th, 2020

Robert P. Palmer, Sr., “Bob”, age 87, a life-long resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on December 19, 2020.

Bob was born on August 28, 1933 in Cambridge, MA; he was the cherished son of the late Douglas and Ann (Gavan) Palmer. Bob was raised in Wilmington and graduated from Wilmington High School with the Class of 1953. He was a great athlete who served as the Captain of the Wildcat Football team and was later inducted into the Wilmington Hall of Fame.

Following graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 13, 1954. He proudly served his country during the Korean conflict. After four years, Bob was honorably discharged from the Army as a Sergeant on October 5, 1958, returning home to his family.

Bob married “the love of his life” Mary “Jane” Randell on June 11, 1960. They settled in Wilmington where they raised their four children: Betsy, Patrick, John and Robert, Jr. Bob and Jane celebrated their 60th anniversary this past summer and reminisced about the countless memories made with family and friends throughout the years.

Bob went to work for the Town of Wilmington as a laborer for the Highway Department in September of 1953. Through his hard work and dedication to the town, Bob was promoted to the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works. Prior to the Assistant Town Manager position being created, Bob filled in as Town Manager when it was necessary. He worked as a special Wilmington Police Officer from 1962 to 1979. Bob retired from the Town of Wilmington on February 6, 1998. Bob was a graduate of Newbury College.

Bob served was on the Board of Selectmen from 2001 to 2004 and served on the Finance Committee from May 2005 to April 2017. Bob was instrumental in many town projects and he had the honor of the Glen Road Field being named “Robert Palmer Park”. Bob was also awarded the “Key to the Town” in recognition of his 64 years of dedicated service to the community and their residents.

Bob was a faithful parishioner at St. Thomas Church attending Mass each Sunday. Bob was a Charter Member of the Fr. Croke Council at the Knights of Columbus.

In his spare time, Bob enjoyed time spent with his family. He enjoyed gardening with his brother Jay, attending all his boys sporting events and in his younger years he loved to dance. He never missed a special occasion, holiday, or family event. He also loved to spend time restoring his cherished 1932 Ford truck which displayed the sign of the family’s farm “PALMER’S Strictly Fresh EGGS”.

Bob was a devoted and loving family man; he was an amazing grandfather and a wonderful role model. He had a great sense of humor and always liked to make others laugh. Bob was quiet and unassuming; he was humble and kind and would quietly go out of his way to help anyone in need. Bob was a “giver” throughout his life; he gave of his time, his talents, and his vast knowledge of many subjects. He was truly “one of a kind” and will forever be in the hearts of those who loved him.

Bob was the beloved husband of Mary “Jane” (Randell) Palmer, devoted father of Betsy Feeley & her husband James of Medford, Patrick Palmer of Windham, NH, John Palmer of South Carolina and the late Robert P. Palmer, Jr., loving “Bampy” of Krista Palmer Green & her husband Cameron, Breanne Palmer, Ian Palmer, Katelyn Merryfield & her husband Jack, Kacey Palmer, Jocelyn Palmer, Kerri Palmer, Kyleigh Palmer, Erik Feeley and his great-grandson Blake Merryfield who was born on his 85th birthday. Father-in-law of Alicia Palmer of Tewksbury, Cherished son of the late Douglas and Ann (Gavan) Palmer, dear brother of the late Douglas Palmer & his late wife Faith of Missouri, Richard Palmer & his late wife Rachel of Wilmington, Ann Stewart & her late husband Ervyl of Harwichport and the late Jay Palmer & his late wife Chickie of Wilmington, brother-in-law of the late Vernon Randell & his wife Beatrice of Hampstead, NH, Carol Munroe & her late husband George and Joyce Cail and her late husband Stephen all of Dunstable. Bob is also survived by his very special niece and Goddaughter Stacey Palmer Moda as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington on Tuesday, December 22nd from 3:00-7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place in the Church on Wednesday, December 23rd at 10:00 a.m.Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. All guests attending services are required to wear a mask in church.

Memorial donations in Bob’s name may be made to St. Thomas Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA 01887 or to Friends of Acadia, P.O. Box 45, Bar Harbor, ME 04609in loving Memory of Robert Palmer Sr. and Robert Palmer Jr.


15 Entries in Guest Book for “Robert P. Palmer, Sr. “Bob””

  1. Karen M Wolley-Palmer says:

    Uncle Bob you will be missed. I have so many fond memories of you. You will always be very special to me, and my family.
    Say hello to Robbie and U Jay for me!

  2. Frank West says:

    To the Palmer family- Karen and I are saddened by Bob’s passing. We offer our deepest sympathies to Jane and the extended Palmer family and will keep Bob in our prayers over the holidays. Karen and Frank West

  3. Larry Keegan says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss thoughts and prayers to the family

  4. Beverly Berrigan says:

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. You are all in my prayers. May he rest in peace.

    Love and prayers to all,
    Bev Berrigan

  5. Frederick Shine says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. “Bob,” was one of the first people who stepped up and helped me in erecting the 4 monuments to the boys killed in Vietnam. Bob was the man who’s idea brought the 4 pieces of granite (from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC ) to Wilmington to be placed in our 4 heroes stones. He spent countless hours with his crews, on the landscapes, and coordinated the placements of the monuments. I could never have accomplished my goal without his hard work. I for one, will NEVER forget what an extraordinarily exceptional man he was. I has been truly an honor to have known and worked with him. God Bless, and please accept my sincere condolences.

  6. jack cushing says:

    a truly great boss, that if he had something to say to you, he looked you straight in the eye and said it!! I’ll never forget in the middle of a big snowstorm , another town truck pulled up beside me and who was driving-my boss BOB PALMER-always their in all storms to make sure our roads were safe. He loved our “TOWN” and took good care of it. Wilmington also had the best ballfields in the Merrimack Valley. Rest in peace “BOSS”, you earned it.

  7. Mike Champoux says:

    Mr. Palmer was such a kind and gentle person. I came to admire and respect him greatly over the years. His contributions to our nation and our community are remarkable. He was truly someone who led by example. I pray for him and his family during this holiday season, that they are able to find peace.

  8. Bernie Palmer says:

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers. My heart is heavy as I know yours is too. I so wish I could be there with you, as you have been there for everyone for good and bad times. I know words can’t take away your pain, but hope you can feel my love. I am proud to be family. Much love~

  9. Kendra Dussault says:

    Dearest Jane, children, grandchildren, great grandchild, and family. Hal and I were so sad to hear of Bob/Bampy’s passing. He was such a special man; he loved each and everyone of you. I’m honored to have been able to be part of some very fun and memorable times with him and the family. He will be greatly missed by one and all. Sending love, condolences and peace.
    Kendra & Hal

  10. Thomas Gates says: were a great boss and leader….to the family,I’m sorry for your loss…

  11. Ganno Family says:

    To the Palmer family ~
    So sorry to hear of Mr. Palmer’s passing.
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers
    during this difficult time. Mr. Palmer
    was well respected by our family,
    my dad, Charles Ganno was employed
    and retired from the Wilmington DPW.
    May Mr. Palmer “Rest In Peace”.
    God Bless!
    We will keep you in our prayers!
    Marie Ganno, Charlene & Dawn

  12. Linda Russell says:

    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. You made a beautiful couple. He was a wonderful man. God Bless.

  13. Joanne Seanson says:

    Joanne Swanson says:
    To the Palmer family so sorry for your loss.We will keep you in our prayers,

  14. Joan Tuxbury says:

    Jane and family,
    My sincere condolences to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. William Breen says:

    John, sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad.

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