14 November 2009

Richard S. Palm (1912 - 1997)

Richard Smith Palm was born June 15, 1912, in Waldo, Marion Co., Ohio, to Ernest & Helen (Smith) Palm. He married Margaret Dell White on June 12, 1936, in Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. My husband, Jim, is the youngest of 5 children, all boys, born to Richard & Margaret.

Richard Palm attended Northwestern High School in Detroit (as did his future wife), where he was almost an Olympic caliber diver. He later went to Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti where he was proud of his affiliation with the Arm of Honor fraternity.

Was he also attending Michigan State Normal College when he (with many others) had their picture taken with President Herbert Hoover on the White House lawn? Jim will have to dig out that picture when we return to Michigan.

Richard worked for a bank in the mid 1930's. He then worked for the Ford Motor Company until retirement. His job consisted of cost accounting, or trying to save money for the company. Richard was also very good at getting the most for his own money; his work at Ford translated into the home in a good way.

It was not unusual for Richard to encounter "old" Henry Ford while working at the COB (Central Office Building at FoMoCo). One of his fraternity brothers was Mr. Ford's secretary, so Richard occasionally had lunch with Mr. Ford and his Arm of Honor fraternity friend.

Jim inherited many of his Dad's characteristics, including his love of travel. Jim, who is constantly searching through travel websites, marvels at how organized his Dad was when he sent for tourist information months before their vacations. Richard would pore over maps and brochures for hours. Nothing was at his fingertips unless he had sent for it.

Richard jumped at the chance to retire 5 years early from Ford; in retrospect, it was a very good decision since it gave Richard and Margaret 5 good years of travel, including lots of international travel. Just about the time Richard was originally scheduled to retire, Margaret's diabetes started to get the best of her and travel would have been difficult.

Margaret and Richard knew how to have fun. There were card parties in the neighborhood and parties at the Elks Club. Richard experienced some hard times after Margaret, the love of his life, died in 1982.

Richard S. Palm ca graduation and in retirement in Palm Beach, Florida

Richard S. Palm died September 14, 1997, in Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Co., Florida. Margaret D. Palm died May 7, 1982, also in Palm Beach County.

Other Palm entries at "Detour Through History" can be found here.

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