August 22, 1934 - January 25, 2014

Burial Date

Obituaries » DELBERT W. PALMER

PALMER, DELBERT W., 79, a lifelong resident of Waitsfield, passed away peacefully at his home on January 25, surrounded by his loving family and dog. Born Aug. 22, 1934, the only son of Everett and Kathryn Palmer, of Waitsfield, Delbert began his life on his family farm on the East Warren Road. He grew up working on the farm and helping with the production of maple syrup for the well-known family business. Delbert graduated from Waitsfield High School in 1951 and shortly after began his studies in agriculture at Vermont Technical College, where he graduated in 1953. On Oct. 25, 1958, he married his lifelong partner, Sharlia (Bohannon). He lived his life a short distance from his childhood residence with his wife and three children. As he welcomed his grandchildren into the world, they too lived within a short distance. In 1995, Delbert and his wife took over the six-generation family maple sugar business, Palmer Maple Products, that won prestigious awards and was known all over the world during its duration. He made sure the business had a large emphasis on family and all members had a specific job, no matter how young they were. He was a local meat cutter for 26 years and enjoyed interacting with the many community members that counted on his skill and attention to detail. He was well known for “running the roads,” looking for someone to talk to in town, as his wife never really knew his exact location. Whether a conversation over coffee, or a meeting at the fire station, he enjoyed talking with others within his community. He never missed an opportunity to help others and would respond quickly, even if he had to get there with red lights flashing and siren blaring. His heart was dedicated to serving the community of the Mad River Valley. He joined the Waitsfield Fire Department at age 17 and dedicated 62 years of service, 23 of those years as chief. Delbert was instrumental in encouraging women to join the fire department, having had both daughters part of the department. Further down the road his granddaughter Shannon and his grandson Jared joined the department. He was so proud of the men and women that he worked and served with on the fire department. Delbert also served on the Mad River Valley Ambulance as a driver for 25 years and was fire warden for 25 years. Delbert was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Not a day would go by where he didn’t think of or see his grandchildren who all live on the “hill.” He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Sharlia (Bohannon); daughter Shawn Young and spouse Mark; daughter Susan Burbank; five grandchildren; sister Joyce Rowe and spouse Robert; sister Lois Richardson and spouse Alan; and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his daughter Shelah Palmer and his parents.

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