Obituaries » Perry Palmer
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February 23, 1937 - April 12, 2021
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Perry Palmer, 84, passed away on Monday, April 12, 2021 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at the First Baptist Church with Pastor Brandon Herron officiating.
Perry was born in Sandpoint on February 23, 1937 to Hazel and Alfred Palmer, during one of the most severe winters. Home was Sunnyside attending the one room Oden School with a few of the other Sunnyside kids. He was obsessed with trucks and equipment. As a small kid, He would pester his dad and uncles until they would let him operate something, anything…. trucks, jammers, dozers you name it. No surprise that his occupation was heavy equipment operator.
He celebrated 63 years of marriage to Charlotte Ambrogini on September 14th.
Perry’s handiwork is everywhere. You experience it every day. He and his family helped build this area arriving in 1897. Perry, first working for Pack River Lumber Company then self-employed as he built roads throughout the northwest. He built everything from roads accessing areas cherished by north Idaho residents to city streets, utility development, city water and sewer to underground power. He developed rock quarries, gravel pits, border crossings, highway rest areas and building sites.
A tireless worker, he plowed snow in the winter for Schweitzer when it first opened and later for Ponderay, Kootenai and Dover. He worked forest fires and train wrecks. His stories of Sundance fire were enthralling. In the spring time he would work the city beach getting the grade just right for swimmers. He volunteered his time and equipment for the North Idaho Timberfest and the Sandpoint School District.
Perry was old school in how he worked and lived his life. He learned to value a dollar, respect his elders, show up on time, say what you mean and a handshake was all you needed to do business. If he didn’t like what he saw, he would let you know. Then, in the next breath, figure out how to do it better, or at least, to suit him. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge. He mentored many young people, if they were willing to listen. He was always up for taking kids on the equipment. It must have reminded him of the excitement he had when he was young.
He was a walking history of Sandpoint and Bonner County. Listening to his stories of early logging, fighting fires, road building, and building Sandpoint were interesting, informative and always entertaining. He valued his friends and family. He may have had a gruff air about him but hidden beneath that, he was compassionate and caring.
He is survived by his wife Charlotte (Ambrogini) Palmer, daughter Zale, son Wade, granddaughters Monica, Carrie (Chris Oglevie), Kristen, great grandchildren Parri, Gage, and Jocelyn Oglevie. Nephews Jerry and Dave Ebbett, Ron Palmer. Nieces Sydney (Ebbett) Wallace, Pat (Palmer) White, and Bobbie (Palmer) Pirrie. Numerous cousins on the Gooby and Palmer side.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Alfred and Richard (Bud), sister Marion Ebbett and niece Sharon (Palmer) Richter.