Gilbert Field Palmer, III

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

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 08, 2008
    Frank/Judy Potosky says:
    Our deepest sympathies on the loss of Gil. A neat, caring person. We have many fond memories of him thru the "soccer connection" at Snider. What fun times! He had a knack of zapping people with his remarks. But, everyone knew it was his way of being a friend. Happy to know all the family was with him. Neat to know that Gibby and Scott stay in touch. A good group of kids who will remain friends forever. Love and prayers to all - Mary Lou, Steve, Sarah, Buff, Gib and all your families. A fabulous group of people whom we were blessed to know. Frank & Judy Potosky

  • June 12, 2008
    Marty Chrisman Hall says:
    Mary Lou, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Marty

  • June 12, 2008
    Vicki and Pete Morreale says:
    Mary Lou and family -- I was at lunch with Marylyn Nussbaum last week when she told me about Gil's passing. Pete and I are so sorry for your loss. Gil was such a wonderful man -- so full of love, sharing, giving and of course humor. I forwarded Gil's obituary to my sons, Dante and Brendan Morreale, who rode Gil's bus many times as members of the North Side marching band. Because Gil knew they were our sons, he gave them extra attention, as in kidding around. His humor made them feel special. Pete and I will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • June 12, 2008
    Babs Ramming says:
    Dearest Lou and family, My sympathy to you for the loss of your wonderful Gil. I know you all have very happy memories of the many good times and love you shared. With sympathy and love, Babsy

  • June 12, 2008
    Scott Chandler says:
    I want to express my sympathy to all of you. Mom and dad sent the obit from Ft. Wayne's paper and it brought back a bunch of memories. He was a special guy who helped bring a bunch of really good people to the world. I feel the better for having known him and all of you. I'll drink a toast tonight in his honor and to Mary Lou. I hope you're all together for some strength and that everyone else is doing well despite the grief.