ALBANY – It is with great sadness that the family of Richard Ronald Palmer announces his passing of Friday, September 14, 2018 at the age of 75 years after a valiant battle of 25 years against respiratory failure and various cancers. Richard was raised in Rensselaer, attended Van Rensselaer schools and continued his education at the University of Northern Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 17. Upon completion of his training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX he was stationed in Michigan and Greenland. During the spring of 1963 Rick met the love of his life Patricia Jane Gorgen. They were married in April 1965 and were blessed with 53 years of love, friendship and precious family memories at their home. He had a special bond and relationship with each of his grandchildren. He was a great Dad but an even greater grandfather, always ready to share a great story and cook them a wonderful dinner. Nothing meant more to him.
After his service in the Air Force, Richard was employed at General Aniline in Rensselaer (1964-1969), National Steel & Ship Building in San Diego, CA (1969-1971) where he was proud to be part of the team that built the USS Schenectady and retired from Conrail Railroad in Selkirk after 38 years of loyal service.
He will be remembered as a great golfer and fisherman and for his love of traveling with Patricia in their motorhome. He was always involved in his sons’ activities including Latham Little League and organizing the construction of the Latham Senior League baseball field, was a board member of the Colonie Youth Center, a leader with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Latham and was a religious education teacher at Our Lady of the Assumption church in Latham. He was also a dedicated member of the Latham Knights of Columbus and Troy Elks. He loved family parties, watching NY Yankee games and attending many NASCAR races where he befriended driver Wayne Edwards and the Troxxell Racing team who invited him to join their race team at the races he attended. His most fulfilling vacation was with Patricia on their trip to Italy where they attended Easter Mass with the Pope at the Vatican.
Richard will be forever remembered by his sons Richard Kevin (and wife Judith), Michael Alan (and wife Margo) and predeceased by his son Jeffrey Francis. He will also be lovingly remembered by his five grandchildren Erica Renee, Jeffrey Andrew, Mikaela Hart, Jake Michael and Luke Richard. He was the son of the late Buel S. Palmer and Elizabeth Schultz, the brother of the late Joyce Brusig and also Buel S. Palmer, Connie Kubes and Bonnie Reddiough.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the excellent care given to Richard in his final years, particularly Dr. Sean Roche and “The Crew” at Albany Family Medicine.
Later this week Richard’s life will come full circle, as his final remembrances will take place at St. John’s/St. Joseph’s Church in Rensselaer, the church where he was baptized, made his Communion, Confirmed, married to Patricia and where he and Patricia baptized their children.
Funeral services will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany, Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m., and from there to The Parish of St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph, 53 Herrick St, Rensselaer, at 9:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. Interment will be in Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Niskayuna. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make donations in memory of Richard may do so through The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation at https://www.roswellpark.org/giving/donate/honor-memorial-gifts. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com .