Doris Helen Pierson Palmer, 90, passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
Doris was born Feb. 23, 1922, in Bureau County, Ill., to Oscar and Media Pierson. The fourth of six daughters, she spent most of her childhood on a family farm in Walnut Grove, Ill. She graduated from Ashton High School, received her teaching degree from Monmouth College, and later earned a master’s degree in guidance counseling at Western Illinois University. After teaching in several schools around the state of Illinois, Doris accepted a position at Media High School, where she met her future husband Jim Palmer.
In 1950, Doris accepted a position teaching the children of U.S. army personnel stationed in Germany. She traveled around Europe and learned to ski in the Alps. She returned home to marry Jim on Oct. 5, 1951. After Jim graduated from Vet School, they started a private veterinary practice in Roseville, Ill. They soon started a family and their five children were born over nine years from 1956 to 1965.
In 1969, the family moved to Hawaii where they spent three years living in Kailua on the island of Oahu. Doris loved to take the kids to the beach and the family traveled to visit most of the outer islands. In 1972, the family moved to Montana and settled in Bozeman. When four of their five children had graduated from high school, Doris, Jim and their son John moved to Australia for a two-year stint with the USDA foreign programs unit. They also lived in New Zealand, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Washington, D.C., before returning to Bozeman to retire.
Doris’s passions were travel, cooking, reading, bridge and Scrabble. She loved to ski and would encourage everyone to enjoy a day on the slopes even after she gave up the sport. She enjoyed spending time in the mountains and was still tent camping at age 85. She was a member PEO chapter AU, Delta Kappa Gamma, United Methodist Church Circle, Retired Teachers, and actively participated in water aerobics until shortly before her 90th birthday. She was famous for her cinnamon rolls, pies and Christmas cookies. She was a terrific cook and could always make room at the lively family table for another guest. She was an independent thinker and never backed down from lively discussions of politics.
Doris is survived by her husband, James; son, Jim Palmer of New Orleans, La.; daughter, Martha (Kenny) Krein of Gillette, Wyo.; son Robert (Janet) Palmer, of Palatine, Ill.; daughter, Betsy Palmer (John Lama) of Bozeman; son, John Palmer of Bozeman; her grandchildren Ethan, Carlos, Erin, Justin, Jordan, Sonam and Seri; her stepgranddaughter Beatriz; two great-grandsons, Adan and Alexander; and her sisters Marie, Cleona and Eloise.
Although Doris will be greatly missed by her family and friends, we feel blessed to have shared a wonderful life journey with her. We love you, mom.
A family visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at Dokken-Nelson chapel. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Bozeman United Methodist Church. Memorials can be made in her honor to Gallatin Mental Health Center, 699 Farmhouse Ln, Bozeman, MT 59715 or to Cottey College 1000 W. Austin Blvd, Nevada, MO 64772.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com.