Funeral services for Wayne Palmer, 100, of Lufkin will be held Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Trinity Baptist Church with Brother Steve Cowart officiating. Graveside services with military honors will follow in the Gann Cemetery.
Mr. Palmer was born April 14, 1919 in Mountain View, Missouri to the late Gertrue (Hartley) and Herbert Palmer, and passed away peacefully Saturday, September 7, 2019 in a local hospice facility.
Mr. Palmer served in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 453rd Amphibian Truck Company from October 6, 1941 to September 19, 1945. In the Army he obtained the rank of Sergeant. He was at the Normandy D-Day Landing and was awarded five bronze stars. He was a member of the Lufkin V.F.W. Post 1836.
Mr. Palmer retired from the Daily Saw in South Gate, California after 25 years and moved to Lufkin. In 1980 he went to work for Lufkin Industries as a security guard for the graveyard shift. He worked full-time from 1980 to 2012 and retired at age 93. To date, he was the oldest full-time employee Lufkin Industries has ever had.
After his final retirement, and until he was 100 years and five months old, he stayed busy by helping others. Every week he could be seen on his riding mower tending to his yard or the yards of his neighbors. He was also known to lend a hand to his neighbors when they needed groceries delivered or help around their homes.
Mr. Palmer was a founding member of Southside Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri where he became an ordained deacon with his father. After moving to Lufkin, he became a member of Central Baptist Church, later becoming a founding member of Trinity Baptist Church.
He is survived by his son, Gary Palmer and wife Becky of Dublin, Ohio; daughter, Donna Palmer Grimm and husband Mike of Edmond, Oklahoma; daughter, Tammy Palmer Ball and husband Stephen of The Woodlands; stepson, Mark McClain and wife Ellie of Corona, California; stepdaughter, Toni McClain Starr of Villa Ridge, Missouri; 19 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. His extended family also included neighbors, members of Trinity Baptist Church, and staff and patrons of the local Whataburger, where he was known as somewhat of a celebrity.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Thelma (Douglas) Palmer of Bonne Terre, Missouri; and second wife, Doris (Cobb) Palmer of Lufkin.
Pallbearers will be Kaleb Grimm, Mitchell Lee, Stephen Ball, Ryan Grimm, Michael Grimm, JC Brewer, and Wade Baker.
The family will welcome friends and loved ones from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at Carroway Funeral Home.
Memories and condolences may be added at www.carrowayfuneralhome.com.
Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.