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Elmer Hall Palmer was born in 1926 on a snowy Christmas morning at home on Alpha Road in Dorchester, MA. He attended schools in Dorchester and the Public Latin School in Boston, MA. His family moved to Cranston, RI, after Hurricane 1938 that caused great damage to his father, Earl’s property. Elmer graduated from Cranston High School and began a semester at the Rhode Island School of Design in the textile engineering department. In 1944, at the age of 17, he joined the United States Navy and went to US Naval Training (Boot) Camp in Samson, NY. He was then sent to Link Training School in Atlanta, GA. Upon graduation, he was sent to Charlestown Naval Air Station while waiting for a position in the V5 pilot training program for which he had passed an exam. When the war ended, he accepted the option of dismissal and returned to civil status under the GI Act to return to the RI School of Design with a major in Textile Engineering.
In his 94 years, Elmer became a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His unwavering love will continue in his 73-year-old wife, Anne D. (Foster) Palmer; his seven children: Elizabeth “Betsy” Derrick (Donald) from Hanover, NH, Carol Readey (John) from East Greenwich, Deana Dolan from Exeter, Alice Janet Bliss (David) from North Kingstown, Barbara Bogosian (Paul) from Warwick, Nancy Phillips (Charlie) from East Greenwich and Richard Leslie Hall Palmer (Judy) from North Kingstown, RI; sixteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. He died of his brother Earl Sweet Palmer Jr. (Maxine), formerly from East Greenwich.
In addition to raising a family of seven children with his wife, Elmer has had a pretty busy life; he had been active in many brotherhood, inheritance, and business associations. His awards include the following youth accomplishments: Children of American Revolution, MA; Boy Scouts of America, 3rd Cranston-Life Scout-Senior Patrol Leader; DeMolay, Order of Loyalty – Preceptor Chevalier – Legion of Honor; International Supreme Council Executive Officer; RI – Active Member – Emeritus Member; Alumni Association Charter # 54; RI Preception DeMolay Legion of Honor, past president.
Masonic Achievements: F&AM – Harmony Lodge # 9 Cranston, RI – Worshipful Master, 1977 & St. John’s Lodge # 1 Providence, RI; RAM-Harmony Chapter # 15 Cranston, RI, Excellent High Priest, 1960 RI Anointed High Priests Convention; R. & SM – Doric Council # 7 Cranston, RI – Three Times Glorious Master, 1965 Council of Anointed Kings by CT&RI; KT-St. John’s Commandery # 1 Providence, RI Eminent Commander, 1963 Honorary Life Member, Commanderies # 8, 10, 11, and 51; Presiding Council of the Templar Club President, 1962 MA & RI Association of KT Commanders, GRAND COMMANDERY Templar, MA & RI High-ranking Grand Commander, 1971 Trustee Grand Fund 1994; Honorary Member of the Great Commandery of VT; GRAND ENCAMPMENT Knights Templar, USA – Knight Commander of Temple; HOLY ROYAL ARCH KNIGHT TEMPLE PRIEST – Tabernacle of Damascus XXVI; RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE, Plantations of the Conclave – Puissant Sovereign, 1977; KNIGHTS YORK EHRENKREUZ, Roger Williams Priory # 48; OLD ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE, Valley of Providence-Sovereign Prince; SUPREME COUNCIL, NMJ, USA – Crowned 33rd Degree Active Member for RI; AAONMS, Palestine Temple Marhaba Shrine Club; Court # 71 ROJ; MOVPER, Muslim grotto; KNIGHT MASONS from NEW ENGLAND, Colonial Council # 19; ROYAL ORDER OF SCOTLAND; SCHWERT from BUNKER HILL, Gaspee Order # 99; NATIONAL RESIDENTS, Narragansett Bay Chapter # 14; MASON VETERANS ASSOCIATION OF RI.
Militia services: KENTISH GUARDS, RIM 1774 – Commander 1980-1986 – Trustee; CONTINENTAL MARINES RIM 1775 – Sloop Providence
Genealogical services: RI Genealogical Society – Founding member for life, RI Historical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Stonington, CT Historical Society, Wequetequock Burying Ground Association, Cocumscussoc Association (Richard Smith, Gilbert [Gysbert Op Den Dyke] Updike).
Cultural heritage services: Sons of the American Revolution, John Peck Rathbun Chapter # 4 – Past Governor; RI SAR STATE SOCIETY-Former Governor National Trustee Member for Life; FOUNDER and PATRIOTS of AMERICA, RI Company – Former Governor, Former Assistant Secretary General. FFRI & PP – First Families of RI & Providence Plantations, Life Member – Governor General 1997-1998 (18 proven lines) viz. Roger Williams, William Hutchinson, John Coggshell, Samuel Gorton, Jeremiah / Jeremy Clarke, Surgeon John Green, William Arnold, Stukey Wescott, Captain Samuel Wilbur, William Almy, Richard Carder, William Corey, Ralph Earle, Thomas Lawton, Adam Mott, George Gardiner, Walter Palmer, Richard Smith. Member of the National Gavel Society for life; Society of Descendants of the Hartford Founders, Life Member (Thomas Lord); Sons and daughters of the colonial clergy, member for life (Reverend Walt Palmer); Descendants of colonial tavern owners, member for life (Samuel Cole, Richard Smith); Society for Colonial Wars (Nehemiah Palmer); Baronial Order of Magna Charta, member for life; Society of Mayflower Descendants (Stephen Hopkins, Thomas Rogers); Roger Williams Society, Life Member; John Greene Society, Surgeon, Life Fellow, Former Treasurer; Walter Palmer Society, Life Member WP # L President 1981; Denison Society, Life Member; Thomas Stanton Society, Life Member; and Rev. John Crandall Society, Life Member.
Economic citizens’ associations: Squantum Association President 1985-1988; East Greenwich Veterans Firemen’s Club, Life Member and 100 Club of Rhode Island.
Office hours for Elmer will be on Friday, September 24th, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home in West Warwick, followed by a Masonic service at 7:00 p.m. All other services will be private.
At the request of friends, donations can be made to in his name Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island (1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904).
You can leave a letter of condolence online at the funeral home HERE.