Barbara Royena Palmer left her earthly body on January 10, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Her fighting spirit was born on September 1, 1935 in Santa Anna, Texas. She was born prematurely at 3 ½ pounds and fought for two months in the neonatal unit of the hospital, until she was finally was able to go home to Abilene, Texas. Her father could hold Barbara in the palm of his hand. She initially slept in the dresser drawer beside her parent’s bed (because of fear of falling out of the crib) and was fed with an eye dropper. She triumphantly thrived to an active and athletic young woman. Growing up in Abilene, TX, she was an only child of Beulah and Leroy. She enjoyed school, her pets and friends. Barbara was quite active in the United Methodist church in Abilene.
Barbara attended Winters High School, in Abilene. She was highly admired and respected. She was voted the most popular for 2 years, and “Miss Winters” in 1951. She was actively involved with her high school band, playing clarinet, medaling in both solo events and quartet. She was a flag bearer, band secretary and band sweetheart. In addition, Barbara was a member of FHA, Goal Digger Club, Women’s Chorus, Biology Club, Essay Writers Club and the school newspaper “The Gale” as well as being Student Council Secretary.
After high school, Barbara moved to Fort Worth, Texas, working at Bell Helicopter, and receiving numerous commendations. When her children were born, Barbara was proud and able to stay home in Garland, Texas, to raise her two daughters Lezlee and Melissa Williams. Barbara was very active in their lives, both in school volunteering, taking them to baton twirling lessons and contests all over the nation. In 1978, the family moved to Yukon, Oklahoma where she continued to help her daughters with school, band, pageants and baton twirling.
When the girls were in high school Barbara took a job at an accounting firm in Oklahoma City. She became the office manager and stayed there until she retired in 2003.
The Kansas University Jayhawks became a big part of her world, after her daughter Lezlee performed during college halftime games, at Allen Fieldhouse, in Lawrence. Barbara wrote to Coach Williams in 1997, stating she was not a “KU alum” however, she inhaled and absorbed the “phog”, and was hooked. Barbara always had her basketball schedule nearby, and would religiously watch the games on TV, deriving hours of pleasure, both in rooting for her Jayhawks team, and reading countless articles about the basketball program, in any publication she could possibly find. Barbara always kept her game schedule readily available, even planning her day’s events around game times. She annually cheered the team on, always hoping to see them in the basketball Nationals, even this year. If anyone was ever unsure what to get Barbara for a holiday gift, anything KU basketball or Jayhawks inspired, would be cherished. One of her most prized KU pieces, was her Mario Chaumers, autographed picture of “The Shot”.
Barbara married Walter Palmer at the Church of the Servant on April 27, 1996. They were both active members and continued with the church, even after moving across town to Tuttle Oklahoma.
She enjoyed retirement with her husband and dog Lucky, until she moved up to Parkville, Missouri, to be near her daughters and granddaughters. She enjoyed driving her grandchildren to their practices, and cheering them on during plays, concerts, graduations and school activities.
Barbara was preceded in death by her mother, Beulah Texie Waddell Fisher and Leroy Fisher. She is survived by her husband Walter Wesley Palmer, her two daughters Lezlee Price (husband David Price), Melissa Williams, and granddaughters Amanda Price, Erin Sheets, (husband Ryan), Anne Price, Emily Munoz and Sophia Munoz. Walter’s children, Mark Palmer, (wife Gina), Karen Arrowood (husband Scott), grandchildren Blake and Garrett Palmer, Rhys and Rachel Arrowood.
Barbara was dearly loved by her family and will be deeply missed.
A Memorial service celebrating Barbara’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 17, 2022 at Meyers Funeral Chapel Northland in Parkville, MO. Memories and condolences are appreciated and may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com. In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the American Cancer Society.