Jerry D. Palmer, 75, of Van Buren, IN, died December 9, 2017 in his home surrounded by his family. He was born January 21, 1942.
In 1965 Jerry graduated from Purdue University, as an Electrical Engineer and through the ROTC Program he joined the United States Armed Forces. He elected to go to jump school and served in Germany as an ordinance officer. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he went to work for Indiana Michigan Power and remained in that field for 32 years.
He retired in 2001, but still worked as an electrical contractor on a part-time basis. Her completed more than 1200 skydives and received Jump Master Certification. In 1980 accompanied by family and friends, Jerry traveled west to Yosemite National Park where he made two free-fall skydives off of El Capitan Mountain. He also did precision jumps for the Van Buren Popcorn Festival, Tipton Pork Festival and several shows in Marion and Kokomo. Jerry worked as a professional sound and light engineer He started out with local events and eventually began working with national acts. His favorite artist to work with was Lee Greenwood.
He first got involved with the Marion Easter Pageant in 1975 and served on the committee of the Pageant working sound, stage and lighting. He served on the Van Buren Popcorn Festival Committee, the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra Board. He was involved in many festivals including the Marion First Fridays, Tipton Pork Festival, ABATE of Indiana, dance recitals and Hog Daze Motorcycle Rally.
One year following 9/11, he visited Ground Zero at the World trade Center in New York City. He became friends with the New York Fire Dept (NYFD) Ten House, which was next to Ground Zero. He built a website based on their stories to share them with the world. Within one year of its creation, the website traffic averaged 400-600 hits a day. Jerry was invited each year to visit the annual Christmas party in NYC, staying overnight at the firehouse.
Locally, Jerry also photographed many events and managed 15 websites for Marion Easter Pageant, MPO and Mississinewa 1812. Jerry was a lifelong resident of Grant County and was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Esther (Van Ness) Palmer. He is survived by his brother Danny (Pat) Palmer, Van Buren, niece, Danielle Ellenburg, Van Buren, Nephew, Devon Palmer, Columbus, OH, Great Niece, Alaina Ellenburg, Great Nephews, Sam and Parker Ellenburg all of Van Buren.
There will be no funeral or calling hours held per Jerry’s wish to be cremated. A memorial to celebrate Jerry’s life will be held on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at the Van Buren United Methodist Fellowship Hall 105 2nd St. Van Buren at 6:30PM. In Lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Grant County Cancer Services. Special thank you to Hospice of Grant Co. for their excellent care and to Mark Baldwin of Marion. Arrangements are being handled by Ferguson & Glancy Funeral Home in Van Buren, IN.