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Juanita Palmer, 94, Albert Lea

Memorial services for Juanita Palmer, 94, of Albert Lea will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at Zion Lutheran Church. The Rev. Joel Vano will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Juanita died on Nov. 10, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Community.

Juanita Palmer was born on Aug. 4, 1919, to Otto and Louise (Brummerich) Schmidt at home on the family farm near Lakefield, the youngest of five children. The family later lived in Hollandale and Alden where Juanita completed school and met the love of her life, Clayton Palmer, who was her husband for 71 years.

In addition to raising five children, keeping an immaculate house and doing the bookwork for the family live bait business, Juanita was the consummate gardener, supplying vegetables and harvesting apples from the family orchard for her immediate and extended families. She enjoyed hunting with the guys — pheasants, geese, moose and deer and was featured in an Associated Press news report in the 1950s as a member of the exclusive “2-for-1 Club” when she killed two deer with one shot.

Juanita Palmer

Juanita Palmer

Juanita was a licensed pilot and along with Clayton, flew the family seaplane around the state to inspect lakes for bait and into the remote areas of Canada for hunting and fishing expeditions. For 23 years they drove to Alaska and back during the summer months to go fishing. The largest fish she ever caught was a halibut which weighed just over 200 pounds — twice the weight of Juanita.

Hawaii was the favorite winter getaway for Juanita and Clayton, and they spent 40 winters in Kailua, Kona, where they made long-time friends and enjoyed native foods. Everyone who visited them from the mainland received a royal welcome — homemade flower leis, tours and history and great meals. She was a gracious host to all.

Juanita and Clayton were longtime members at Zion Lutheran Church and remember its early formation. Three generations of the family were baptized, confirmed and married at Zion and Juanita remained active in the women’s group and Bible study group; she treasured the daily calls, visits and support from her church family during her final days.

After Clayton died, Juanita moved to Knutson Place Apartments at St John’s Lutheran Community, where she lived independently for five years. Ever the pioneer woman, she made her own soap, ground her own wheat, baked the best chocolate chip cookies and kept her freezer filled with food in case someone dropped by unexpectedly. She gave up her driver’s license when she was 92 years old and had to cut back on her gardening when she was 93, but only because she got heart palpitations when using the tiller.

Blessed be the memory of this wonderful woman who was a mother, grandma, great-grandma, great-great grandma and friend.

She is survived by children Joan (George) Carlson of Minneapolis, David (Lois) Palmer of Albert Lea, Bruce (Pat) Palmer of Albert Lea and Karen (Dallas) Breamer of King City, Ore.; daughter-in-law, Joann Palmer of Albert Lea; 15 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by husband, Clayton; son, Lloyd; parents; and all her siblings.

Special thanks to the wonderful staff at Knutson Place, St. Johns Lutheran Community and the Mayo Clinic hospice team for their loving care and concern during Mom’s final months.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to MN South District — LCMS, “New Mission Starts,” 14301 Grand Ave, Burnsville, MN 55306, attn: Lu Clemmensen.