Gilbert Field Palmer, III

October 10, 1927 - May 31, 2008
Gilbert Field Palmer, III

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Gilbert Field Palmer III, 80, died Saturday May 31, 2008 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, surrounded by his wife and children.

He was born October 10, 1927 in Milford, Massachusetts. He was the son The Reverends Ralph and Mildred Palmer who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Riggs Palmer, and his children, Steve (Mindy) Palmer, Missoula, Montana; Sarah (Jack) Coombs, Fernandina Beach, Florida; William “Buff” (Mary John) Palmer, Charleston, South Carolina; and Gilbert “Gib” (Robin) Palmer, M.D., Clinton, North Carolina; and six grandchildren, Jake, Emma, Leah, Field, Gracin and Dylan. He is predeceased by his brother, Russell Palmer, brothers-in-law, Bob Schmidt and Red Hill, sister-in-law Joanne Riggs; and survived by two sisters, Naomi “Sweetie” Schmidt, California; and Jane (Charles) Harrington, Massachusetts; sister-in-law Elsie Palmer, of Maine, his brother-in-law, William “Bill” Riggs, Missouri; many nieces and nephews; and, a host of friends.

He was raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, with a degree in Foreign Languages. He spent most of his career in international business with Ralston Purina of St. Louis, Missouri and Central Soya of Fort Wayne, Indiana. During his career, he traveled the world, and he and his family lived in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Venezuela, Miami, Memphis, Puerto Rico and Fort Wayne, Indiana. He and his wife spent the past six years in Wilmington, North Carolina. In his retirement, he also owned a cross-stitch store, drove a school bus, and worked as a Security Guard.

He was known for his undying love of the Boston Red Sox, his humor, and his love for his family and friends. His family would like to express appreciation for the care he received from his doctors, and the New Hanover ICU staff.

Donations may be made in his memory to the American Lung Association, 61 Broadway, New York City, NY 10006. Donate “here”

A private memorial service will be held to celebrate his life.

Condolences may be sent to

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099

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  • June 11, 2008
    Nancy Cano Diamond says:
    Mary Lou, Steve, Sarah, Buff and Gib: You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and take away your pain. Time will put things in perspective but the longing never ends. You will see Gil in a gesture, a smile, a joke or when you look upon something familiar. Trust in me that he will always be with you. Rejoice in the wonderful memories you all shared for it is true "To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Love you, Cano Gil, you were a very special man! I feel fortunate to have been able to spend even a short time of my adult life in your and Mary Lou’s presence... ...Man, you never change! ;0) I'll miss you.... And I thank you both for always opening your home to me and my friends.

  • June 09, 2008
    Greg Roberts says:
    My sympathy and prayers to the family. As a member of the Snider Soccer family Gil will be missed but never forgotten.The memory of his wit and humor will always be remembered. In all my years of coaching at Snider there are two things that are very important to me. I will never forget the greatest group of players (Gibby and friends)to play for me. Second, the framed cross-stitch record by Gil that will always hang in my den. Blessing and peace to the family Coach Roberts

  • June 10, 2008
    Dina Felix says:
    I would like to extend my hearfelt condolences and prayers to Gil's family. I worked with Gil at Wilmington Health Associates and I must say there was never a dull moment in his presence. He made our jobs more enjoyable and just downright fun. I've never met someone with such a wonderful sense of humor and love of life. He will be greatly missed! Dina Felix

  • June 10, 2008
    Steve Hale says:
    I mourn for your loss and want all of you to know that I always admired the tight knit,All-American family that Gilbert & Mary Lou raised. I think back about how [Mr. Palmer] would silence my adolescent loud mouth with his wit and humor -[to this day few have managed to do this]....I wish all of you the best in this tough time.....

  • June 11, 2008
    Shannon Diamond Knott says:
    To the Palmer Family, My deepest sympothies and love for you all. -Shannon Knott (Diamond)