Sherri L. Brown, 36, of Visalia died Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2001.
Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Monday at Visalia District Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Hadley Funeral Chapel, Visalia.
Will Burrell Sr.
TULARE -- Will Edward Burrell Sr., 41, of Tulare died Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2001.
He was a security guard.
Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Hamilton Peers Lorentzen Funeral Chapel, Tulare.
Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at Wayside Church of the Nazarene, Tulare.
Interment will be at Hanford Cemetery.
FRESNO -- Kenneth Justin DiBenedetto, 57, of Fresno died Monday, Nov. 12, 2001.
He was a communications technician.
There will be no services.
Arrangements are by Dopkins Funeral Chapel, Dinuba.
Jerry Dean Ellis, 52, of Visalia died Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001.
He was retired.
Graveside services will be 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Visalia District Cemetery.
Arrangements are by Miller Memorial Chapel, Visalia.
Elizabeth Knowles, 47, of Visalia died Sunday, Nov. 11, 2001.
She was a homemaker.
A memorial service will be 2:30 p.m. today at The Alipaz Home, 13455 Ave. 328 in Visalia.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Services, Visalia.
WOODLAKE -- Charles Edward Lewis, 65, of Woodlake died Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2001. He was a retired inspector.
A memorial service will be 1:30 p.m. today at Woodlake Pentecostal Church of God. Arrangements are by Miller Memorial Chapel, Visalia.
Jose Angel Lopez Luviano
Jose Angel Lopez Luviano, the infant son, of Jaime Lopez and Mariana Luviano passed away on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001, in Visalia.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Catholic Church, Visalia. Burial will follow at the Visalia District Cemetery. Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Services, Visalia.
Billie Gene Palmer
February 19, 1929 -November 14, 2001
Billie Gene Palmer was born in Washita, Ark. to Joseph A. Palmer and Celia Ann Palmer. Born in the year of the 1929 Stock Market crash, his family, including older sister Juanita and older brother Cecil, moved to California during the great Dust Bowl depression which affected the greater states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. They came with all their belongings much like thousands of other families described in the "Grapes of Wrath".
In 1938, when baby sister Faye was born, the family settled in "Tent City," which later became known as Farmersville. His father, Joseph, found work as a carpenter and went on to build many homes in Farmersville employing his sons, Billie and Cecil, as "apprentices." Billie had a gift of working with his hands on "mechanical things". When he was 6, he repaired an old pocket watch and quickly turned his talent into working on farm machinery, cars and motorcycles.
His love for throaty motorcycles and fast cars was born at an early age, and way before it was popular and prestigious, Billie Palmer owned and rode a VL 80 Flat Head Harley Davidson around 1946 and at about 17 years of age. It was not his last bike, and he made sure his "boys" had motorcycles too as they grew up.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he quickly joined the Army and became a proficient motor pool mechanic. He said that everyone else was going in and he was not going to be left behind. His older sister, Juanita, was most upset about his joining the military since he was only 14 years old, and reported his age to the Army. The Army had a great mechanic, but he was underage, so they wouldn't let him serve his country as a military man in uniform any longer, but instead hired him as a civilian to work on and train others in maintaining and servicing the Army's vehicles during World War II. He was pretty spunky then, and stayed so throughout life.
From humble beginnings, and the product of an "up by the bootstraps family", Billie Palmer became owner and operator of several service stations, some with restaurants and hotels, in Glendale, El Rio (by Oxnard), San Luis Obispo, Grover City, Arroyo Grande, California Valley, Hanford, McKittrick and the outskirts of Visalia. Billie Palmer made friends wherever he went and had a gift for gab. All of the Palmer children became successful through hard work, determination and brainpower.
Brother Cecil Palmer is a gifted card player, gentleman farmer and worked for Early California Foods. Sisters, Juanita Qualls became Mayor of Grover City and Faye Bolick has served as executive director for many large national non-profit corporations and Chamber of Commerce's.
Billie Palmer fathered four children, Joseph "Allen" Palmer, Billy Lee Palmer, Cozette Monique Palmer, and Juanita Palmer, and they all called him "Daddy." He was their "rock". When the going got tough they called on "Daddy" and he was there.
In 1968, he joined Early California Foods and quickly became a supervisor and shop steward. In 1974, he married Evelyn C. Garret in Las Vegas, Nev., but met the hard working widow at the olive plant where she worked for decades before retiring.
He retired from the plant when he was 51, and began his business on South Sante Fe Street in Visalia as a lawnmower repairman, backyard mechanic and fixer of all manner of small motors. Hundreds of residents of Visalia and Farmersville called on Billie Palmer to help them get their lawnmowers running, and for many other mechanical problems. He was known as a "fixer" with "magic hands".
Although his grand daughter, Wendy Thomason Rudy, became a Visalia City Council member, Billie refused to give up running his backyard business. He figured that his business started before the City of Visalia created the ordinance, and that he had private property rights first.
The truth is, Billie Gene Palmer could not stand to "not work." He's fixed hundreds of things for people without charge because they asked him to. For as long as anyone can remember, there were always a few lawnmowers chained to a pole in Billie Palmers front yard. The lawnmowers are no longer there, and the community has lost a little Americana in the process.
Billie married a Christian woman in Evelyn Garrett, who never gave up on him being saved, and in 1982 he finally accepted Jesus as his savior, "changed his ways." and joined a small Pentecostal Congregation on the corner of Nobel and South Jacob in Visalia. He became a deacon of the church and faithfully mowed the church lawns and maintained the mechanical fixtures in the church until 1998 when the passing of time dwindled the congregation to a few members and the church was leased out. He admonished his sons to marry a Christian woman and told them that "a Christian woman is the only woman that is worth a damn as a wife". Both sons finally did so, and once again, "Daddy" was right.
Until illness conquered his body, he and his loving wife, Evelyn, traveled extensively in their motor home visiting family and friends and trekked to Laughlin where they might wager up to a whole "$5" before returning home. He loved the drive more than reaching the destination. He helped his children and grandchildren in the remodeling of their homes. He was always on call to help with an electrical or plumbing problem. He loved to go to the local swap meet and talk with friends. He loved to talk. He was never at a shortage for words. Anyone visiting Billie Palmer would have to plan for about an hour of talk before being in their way. His mind was quick and he was a repository of family history. He knew every first cousin, second cousin, third cousin of the clan in the county and beyond. He kept in touch with a lot of them.
When Billie Palmer gave his word, or made up his mind to do something, there was no wavering. His "yes" was his "yes" and his "no" was his "no." He was a good and faithful husband and father. He loved to laugh and "cut up" with family and friends. He could "fire up" pretty quickly too, if he felt someone was doing wrong. He was a wonderful and attentive grandfather who attended hundreds of baseball games, concerts, events, shows and graduations for his grandchildren and great grandchildren, even when they played a most "minute" role. When Billie Palmer made a deal, it was a deal. He always completed his part of the bargain, no matter what. He was frugal and independent, self-reliant and resourceful all of his life. It was hard for him to let others "do" for him. He just wasn't used to it. He was truly a bonofide member and representative of the "Greatest Generation."
His daughter Cozette Monique, and his granddaughter Charity Dawn predeceased him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Evelyn Palmer, his sons, J. "Allen" Palmer and Billy L. Palmer of Visalia and Daughter, Juanita Hovey of Dewitt, Mich., Brother Cecil Palmer of Exeter, Sisters Juanita Qualls of Grover Beach and Faye Bolick of Watsonville.
His surviving grandchildren include the children of son J. Allen Palmer and his wife Linda Palmer; David Schluep, Wendy Thomason-Rudy, (soon to be) Lindsay Shadrick-Moore and Joey Palmer all of Visalia.
The children of his son, Billy Lee Palmer, and his wife Emmalynn Palmer of Visalia; Samantha Mendes of Hanford, and David Palmer, Billy Palmer, Samantha Palmer and Johnny Vasquez Palmer, all of Visalia.
The children of his daughter Cozette Monique Palmer; Jennifer Godown, Michael Deering, and Susanne and Jason Stewart, all of Visalia.
The children of his daughter Juanita Hovey; Susie Hovey, Tommy Hovey and Joey Hovey, all of Dewitt, Michigan.
Great-grandchildren include, Sierra Schluep, Jordan Rudy, Jonathan Rudy, Ashley Rudy, Greg Moore and Tommy Moore, all of Visalia.
Nieces and Nephews include Donna Hecq of Bakersfield, Cheryl Ann Telow of Fort Worth, Texas, Jolene Palmer of Exeter and Ellen Stafford of Visalia. Calvin Qualls of Arroyo Grande, CA, Beverly Coffman of Visalia, Glenda Wadkins of Fresno. David Smith and Gilbert Smith of Visalia, Carol Signorelli, Pamela Lane, and Sport Lane, all of Santa Maria.
Billie Palmer has left behind a legacy of character, tradition, common sense and personal values that his family and many friends will not soon forget. Although he has gone to be with our lord and savior Jesus Christ, we all look forward to seeing him again and "what a day that will be!"
Our entire family wishes to acknowledge and thank the caring nursing staff at Kaweah Delta Hospital, Hospice of Tulare County, and all of the "wonderful" women at Reimer's Christian Senior Care for "spoiling" Daddy while he was in their care and our friends and staff at Hadley Funeral Service for their professional and personal attention to our families requests.
Family and Friends are most welcomed to join us in celebrating the life and times of Billie Gene Palmer on Monday at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Hadley Funeral Chapel, Visalia.
Memorial Service will be 11 a.m. Monday. Interment will be at Visalia District Cemetery.