Cover photo for Ronald William Palmer's Obituary

Ronald William Palmer

July 11, 1931 — September 3, 2023

Preston Idaho

Ronald William Palmer


After ninety-two colorful years, Ronald (Ron) William Palmer passed away on 3 September 2023, in Apache Junction, Arizona.  Born on 11 July 1931 in Williston, North Dakota, Ron was the firstborn child of Lewis William Palmer and Laura Malene Fisketjon Palmer.  


The apple of his father's eye, he was putting in full workdays with him by the age of five, eventually becoming his right-hand man in the family fur business.


Ron loved telling stories, and those he told about his youth are legendary.  Growing up riding horses on the Great Plains.  Owning his own Model-T Ford at the age of eight and giving his classmates rides during recess.  


In 1946, the family moved to northern Utah and eventually settled in Preston, Idaho, where the Palmer Mink and Fox Ranch was established.  Frustrated at school, Ron quickly got hired at a local mechanic shop and did his learning on the job -- until his parents found out and sent him back to school.  Still, learning by working became Ron's lifelong habit.


Ron had many adventures in the Cache Valley with his friend Keith Parry, who sometimes brought his little sister Mern along.  And during leave from the Korean War, he came home and married Mern Darlene Parry on 23 December 1951.


The family business became an empire built of blood, sweat, and tears, but Lewis Palmer found the time to take his sons Ron and Jim fishing and hunting all over the West as well as Canada, often in the Cessna they kept in Preston.  And beyond mink and fox, Ron had many other animals in his life: a variety of dogs and horses, sheep, goats, a monkey, a jaguar, many mountain lions, wolves, fallow deer, Brahma bulls, even a bear.  


He always worked long, hard hours -- alongside his father and then his brother --but also played hard and shared his passions all along.  He taught his nephew and nieces how to swim in the family pool, the first in Preston.  And he taught following generations of youngsters how to ski on water and snow, how to play any sport they chose better than they thought they could.  His interest in golf slowed after he made a hole in one, and in bowling after a few perfect games, but he still showed others how to do it.   And he never stopped learning new things himself.


Ron was always taking care of something or someone. This was typified by his devotion to his wife -- Mern was afflicted by lupus disease from an early age -- and his mother-in-law Florence Parry, who lived with them in her later years.


In the 1980s, Ron and Mern bought property in Apache Junction and began spending their winters there until Mern passed away in 2013.  Afterward, he met Rachel Corkum there and they enjoyed nine years living together full-time in Roadhaven Resort, Ron going north every year to his home in Preston to visit family and friends.


There are many ways to describe Ron Palmer: adventurous, a risk-taker, giving, soft-hearted, and unique. He loved life, but even more he loved to live off the beaten track.  


Ron is survived by his loving companion Rachel Corkum; sister-in-law, Linda Palmer; and by many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Laura Palmer; his wife, Mern; and Jim Palmer, his only brother. 


Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 11:00 am at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S. 800 E. Preston, Idaho. A viewing will be held prior to the funeral from 10-10:45 am. Interment with military honors will be in the Preston Idaho Cemetery.


Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald William Palmer, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, September 16, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1355

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree