April 6, 1931 – June 30, 2018
Marilyn Joan Palmer died Saturday, June 30. She is survived by her husband of 67 years Loren Palmer, daughter Marsha Turner, son Michael Palmer, and live-in family friend Ross Hensel. Also surviving is her brother David Pippenger and his wife Judy and family.
Marilyn was born on April 6, 1931 to the late Katherine (Hawn) and Orville Stout in Columbia City, Indiana, and spent most of her life in Mishawaka. She graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1948 and studied secretarial science at the South Bend College of Commerce. She was employed as a secretary at Ball Band/Uniroyal for many years. Marilyn married Loren Freeman Palmer of Mishawaka on November 23, 1930.
Marilyn was passionately devoted to her son Michael and to St. Joseph County Special Olympics, which provided an avenue for him to excel. Marilyn and Loren have supported the organization since its founding in 1969 in every possible way, from coaching, chaperoning, and cheering athletes to fundraising and managerial support. Marilyn’s proudest moment was watching her son finish among the top five track and field athletes at the 1972 Summer International Special Olympic Games.
Marilyn received many accolades and awards for her work with St. Joseph County Special Olympics, including 1989 Parent of the Year and 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Special Olympians were her family, and she often remarked, “We have 2,700 children!”
In accordance with her wishes, there will be no visitation or services. Cremation will take place, and her ashes will be scattered at the Leeper Park Rose Garden in South Bend.
The family requests memorial contributions to: St. Joseph County Special Olympics, PO Box 643, Mishawaka, IN 46546. McGann Hay’s American Cremation Society was entrusted with the cremation.