Thomas Ralph Palmer Obituary

Thomas Ralph Palmer, 82, of St. Joseph, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at his residence in The Whitcomb.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service from 10:00 to 10:55 a.m. Private inurnment will take place at a later date in St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Grand Blanc, MI. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in St. Joseph, Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at

Thomas (Tom) was born on November 5, 1938 in St. Joseph, MI. On May 7, 1961, he married Barbara May Reed (Barb). He attended the University of Michigan and following his education joined the United States Army. Thomas served in Ethopia for two years, where two of his children were born, and then returned stateside to complete another four years of service and add two more children to his and Barb’s growing family. Following his time in the Army, Tom worked as a Computer Systems Analyst at Buick in Flint, MI, and then transferred to EDS, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. With work life behind them, Tom and Barb bought an RV and traveled all over the United States together for the next 15 years.

Tom had a great sense of humor and especially enjoyed puns. He was very active in the Episcopal Church and an advocate for women’s rights in the National Organization of Women as well as Buick’s Women in Computing Club. He enjoyed sailing, camping, music, reading, cooking and watching the Lions lose, but most of all cherished time spent with his family.

Tom is survived by his daughters, Carole Palmer of Jamestown, NM, Carla (Rick) Thornton of Manchester, MI, and Julia (Dave) Warner of Swartz Creek, MI and grandchildren, Lily, Carrie, Anthony and Barbara Warner. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 54 years, Barb; and his son, Anthony “Tony” Palmer, M.D. 

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