n-OBITpalmer-012209 Anna Lou Palmer, 93: Social worker, drew strength from her faith

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YARMOUTH — Anna Lou Palmer, 93, a longtime resident of Sanford and Islesboro, passed away on Jan. 15 at Brentwood Nursing Home in Yarmouth, where she resided since suffering a broken hip last June.
She was born on May 9, 1915 in the apartment of her parents, Campbell and Anna Carmichel, located on Central Park West in New York City. She attended grade school in Westfield, N.J. She graduated from high school at Cazenovia Seminary in upstate New York and then received a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.
She worked as a social worker at an orphanage in the Bronx until her marriage in 1949 to the Rev. Warren S. Palmer who was then the pastor of the Congregational Church in Lincoln. Although she missed shopping in Fifth Avenue stores, she soon embraced her role as a minister’s wife in Maine. In 1956, the Rev. Palmer was called to the North Parish Congregational Church in Sanford, where he served until his death in 1964.
Faced with the challenge of raising her two young sons, she returned to her profession as social worker for all grade schools in Sanford. For the next fourteen years, she helped the children of Sanford and their families in countless ways. Upon retirement, several Sanford organizations recognized her for extraordinary service to the community.
In 1951, Anna Lou and Warren purchased an old house on the island of Islesboro to serve as their vacation and future retirement home. Her brother, Alex, and his family owned the cottage next door and over the years many happy family summers were spent there. Following retirement, she extended her seasons on the island, eventually living there year- round, where her son David lived with and cared for his mother, allowing her to remain in her home for so many years.
An eternal optimist, she looked for the good in people and treasured relationships with many wonderful friends over the years. Family was most important to her, and she spent many happy hours visiting or calling relatives near and far. Religion was a cornerstone of her life, and she drew much comfort and strength from her faith.
She was predeceased by her husband, the Rev. Warren S. Palmer; and her brothers, the Rev. Campbell B. Carmichel and the Rev. Alexander C. Carmichel. She is survived by her sons David S. Palmer of Islesboro and James C. Palmer, his wife Leigh, and three grandchildren, Libby (Elizabeth), Alan and Benjamin, all of Yarmouth.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. at the First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main St., Yarmouth.
The Palmer family has created a memorial of her life and it is available at www.mem.com. Friends are invited to visit the memorial to share condolences, memories and wishes with the family.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Abiding Memorial Fund for the support of the Palmer library at the North Parish Congregational Church, 893 Main St., Sanford, ME 04073.