Our mom and friend, June Palmer, left mortality early in the morning on Monday, 8 July 2019. Mom was born 22 June 1929, to Lillian Avonelle Kimbler and Herbert Robert William Dillistone, and raised in the hills of Kentucky. She came to Utah to marry her sweetheart Paul Palmer, whom she had met when he arrived in Kentucky to serve a mission in the East Central States.
June and Paul were sealed together in the St George Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 20 December 1949. They lived in Salt Lake City, Hawthorne and Torrance California, but ultimately made Provo their home. June and Paul were a team, loyal, devoted, and true to each other.
To know June is to know she made bread. Lots of bread. Twelve loaves a week. She claimed kneading bread by hand kept her tough. Us kids loved to come home to the sound of Il Trovatore or Bolero or Madama Butterfly on the stereo, the smell of hot bread on the cutting board, and the love of our mom. She made our home complete.
Mom was fit and strong and loved the outdoors. She could outdo most children on the monkey bars and trampoline. I cannot count the nights she’s slept in an army surplus tent, a bedroll, a sleeping bag, an igloo (well, that was only once), a one-person tent deep in Utah’s backcountry, on a tarp in our backyard, in cabins and lean-tos. She backpacked the Narrows, the Subway, and multiple destinations in the high Uintah’s. Her favorite destinations were MIA Shalom, Great Basin and Zion National Parks, and Navajo Lake. The night sky was her favorite view.
Mom was practical, capable, and patient, yet she found her own ways to be lively and a bit mischievous. She loved puns — little ways words work and play together — and she wrote many verses, rhymes, and stories.
June’s life was filled with a quiet, simple, steady stream of service. She sacrificed to birthe and raise 11 children, to be a stalwart member of The Church of Jesus Christ serving as a missionary to the East Central States Mission, Camp Director, Young Women teacher and advisor, Relief Society President, nursery worker, and in many other capacities. Faith was June’s greatest attribute and pursuit, and she rejoiced in righteousness. She wrote her powerful experiences in her journals. As a gift to her children and grandchildren, she winnowed through her 64 personal journal volumes, selecting the entries which she felt bore witness of the workings of the spirit of the Lord in her life. She gifted a book of these spiritual experiences to her descendants. It is filled with stories of rescue, comfort, warning, and aid which testify of a caring God who watched over her throughout her life.
She was a naturalist who identified birds and plants and kept records of the wondrous creations she’d seen. I felt it a rite of passage when she gave me a pair of binoculars as a young girl. She allowed a friendly magpie to come in the house and she fed him while he perched on the counter and watched her work. Mom often spoke of the beautiful birds native to Kentucky. She missed seeing cardinals especially. One year in late winter a pair of cardinals mysteriously appeared in our juniper tree. She called local birders and Audubon Society members to come share the sight. The birds must have been blown off course in their migration, she felt it a tender mercy that it was her backyard they perched in for the day.
When Dad died in 2011, mom became very lonely. Then she became friends with Chuck Loris. Chuck was a go-getter who took mom on many adventures. He was a special friend to her until his death in 2015.
Mom was preceded in death by many loved ones: her parents, her sisters Nell Dillistone, Violet Staples Judd, and Ethel Potter, her brother Bill Dillistone, and her son in law, LeEarl Baker. Most poignantly, dad preceded her in death 7 ½ years ago; their reunion would have been a sight to behold! Those left behind are: Veea (LeEarl) Baker, Ed, Alan and Peggy, Richard and Cathy, Leona and Gaylen Haag, Daniel and Stephanie, Nathan and Debbie, Ann and James Powell, Martha and Barry Roberts, Timothy and Meridy, Benjamin and Candice, 52 grandchildren, and 83 great-grandchildren.
Mom loved her home healthcare team, and thank you Renee Collins, for your kind hospice care.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the Edgemont 2nd Ward Chapel, 555 East 3230 North, Provo, Utah. Friends may visit with the family at the Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center Street, Friday, July 12 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and at the church Saturday from 9:30-10:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be at the Cedar City Cemetery on Monday, 15 July 2019 at 12:00 p.m. Condolences may be expressed at www.bergmortuary.com.