Ronald Palmer

Ronald Palmer passed away on April 18, 2023.

Ron, beloved husband, father, and grandpa was born in Walla Walla on January 3, 1939, to Eugene and Dolly Palmer.  He was a fifth generation direct descendent of Oregon pioneer, General Joel Palmer, who in 1853, was appointed by U.S. President Franklin Pierce to become the first Indian Commissioner of the Oregon Territory.

Ron was the youngest of 4 children.  He was preceded in death by older sisters Polly and Alice and older brother Robert.

He was raised and educated in Eastern Oregon. At Hermiston High School, he was active in football, baseball, basketball, school choir, drama club, and student government.  He was selected to be a member of the Blue Mountain Conference All-Star Baseball Team his senior year.

Ron enrolled at the University of Oregon and was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree at Eastern Oregon University in 1965.  He was proud of the fact that he paid his way through college by working summers in the wheat and pea harvests and highway construction.  He was the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college.

He married his college sweetheart, Linda Oylear of Pendleton, in 1966.  They lived at their lakeside home on Gowdyville Road for 50 years.  As Linda was a former princess of the Pendleton Round-Up, they always had horses to enjoy. Ron was an avid non-fiction reader of European and World War II history who donated several hundred books to the Cottage Grove Friends of the Library as well as to Creswell Public Library.

Ron enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1959 and later served the Army Combat Engineers at a military base south of Munich Germany in the Bavarian Alps.  On the rifle range, he consistently qualified as an expert rifleman with both the M-1 and carbine rifle. He was honorably discharged in 1962.

Ron joined Bauder and Young Insurance Agency in 1967 and became a partner two years later.  He spent over 30 years in the insurance industry and attained his Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter, Certified Insurance Counselor and retired in 1996 as president of the agency. 

Ron was involved in numerous community and civic organizations in Cottage Grove.  He was chairman of the South Lane School Board Budget Committee and served and chairman of the Cottage Grove Montessori School Board.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce for 10 years and president in 1983.  Ron served on the Cottage Grove Hospital Board for 12 years; he was the chairman for 2 years and was selected as a hospital director of the year by the A E Brim Hospital Management Company in 1986.

On a state level, Ron served on the board of directors of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Oregon from 1978-1987.  He was state president in 1985 and twice awarded chairman of the year by that organization.  In 1984, he was selected for the Arthur Eppstein Award, presented to an individual who has given distinguished service to the insurance industry, their local community, and the insuring public of Oregon.  Ron also received the Bernard J Burns Award in 1983 and 1991. This achievement award is given by the Independent Insurance Agents of America. He served on that organization's board of trustees in Washington DC from 1990-1994.

Later in life he served five years on the board of directors of Oregon State Bar Public Liability Fund as well as an additional three years on the board of directors of the Client Security Fund of the Oregon State Bar. 

Ron was an avid Oregon Duck fan.  He and Linda were Duck Athletic Fund donors and football season ticket holders since 1969.  They attended the first Duck football game played in Autzen Stadium in September 1967.  They were also long-time season ticket holders of Oregon basketball, baseball, and track. 

Ron and Linda enjoyed many trips to Europe together through the years. He returned to Europe and Germany 22 times to tour and visit several German friends he made in his Army days in the 1960s.  In later years, they enjoyed cross-country trips on AMTRAK to visit relatives and friends in the eastern USA.

Ron is survived by his wife Linda, who resides at Magnolia Gardens in Cottage Grove. Ron is also survived by son Matt (Lorraine), granddaughter Camillia Palmer; and daughter Kirsten (Roger), granddaughter Addyson and grandson Archer. 

He was a devoted father to his two children and supported their academic and athletic achievements. He took great pride in their accomplishments and encouraged them to always give their best effort.

In his last years, he immensely enjoyed the morning coffee meetings with the “fellas” at the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum.  All longtime friends.

A visitation will be held, Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel in Cottage Grove, OR, followed by the funeral service at 2:00 p.m.  Interment will be Thursday, May 4th, 2023, 1:00p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project

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Arrangements in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.