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Gerry Palmer, former v.p. at HMB, dies

RICE LAKE, Wis. (BP)–Funeral services for Gerald (Gerry) B. Palmer, who worked 29 years for the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, were held March 24 at Hope Baptist Church in Rice Lake, Wis., where he died March 20. He was 85.

A native of Minneapolis, Palmer and his family moved to Atlanta in 1960 where he worked in a variety of positions for the HMB (predecessor of the North American Mission Board). Among them, he served as vice president for missions and, earlier, director of language missions and director of the missions section.

After retiring from the HMB in 1989, he served as a consultant with the Northwest Baptist Convention in Portland, Ore. After his second retirement in 1993, he and wife Libby moved back to his childhood family farm in Balsam Lake, Wis. During his years there, he served as interim director of missions for three Baptist associations and later as interim executive director for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention.

In 1995, the Palmers began their work with the Hope Baptist Church in Rice Lake, where he served as pastor until his death.

Prior to coming to the HMB, Palmer started his long career of Southern Baptist mission work as an associational missionary in northeastern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The Palmers started Calvary Baptist Church in Trinidad, Colo., in 1954 and served as pastor until moving to Albuquerque, N.M., in 1957 to serve as director of mission work with Spanish-speaking and Native American people.

He attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn., and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he graduated in 1945.

Palmer is survived by his wife Libby; three sons, Warren, David and Timothy; a daughter, Marcia Laster; and seven grandchildren.

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