Diocese mourns loss of faithful deacon

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Deacon Bob Palmer lies prostrate during his 2006 ordination as a way of symbolically laying down his life for the Church. (Catholic Sun file photo)
Deacon Bob Palmer lies prostrate during his 2006 ordination as a way of symbolically laying down his life for the Church. (Catholic Sun file photo)

PRESCOTT VALLEY — Dcn. Robert A. Palmer of St. Germaine Parish, was welcomed into the Lord’s arms on April 16, having served faithfully for nearly nine years.

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About Dcn. Bob Palmer

Born: May 20, 1948 in St. Augustine, Florida, to Elizabeth

Married: May 14, 1974 to Christine “Chris”

Converted: April 22, 2000

Ordained: Nov. 4, 2006

Died: April 16, 2015

Full obituary and tribute wall

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Dcn. Palmer had an early career with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office before he and his wife, Christine “Chris,” moved to Prescott in 1980 where they opened a private investigating service. Bob obtained a doctorate in criminal justice and specialized in mitigation cases researching reasons a convicted murderer should not receive the death penalty.

“Bob realized that one of the things these people had in common was a lack of a spiritual life, but he didn’t have one either,” Chris said. “He took a class back east on spirituality where he met a nun who impressed him.”

The nun visited Chris and Bob in Arizona never trying to convert them. Bob had not been raised in any faith though he believed in God and Chris, though raised a Methodist, no longer practiced. After their visitor left, the Palmers discussed looking into the Catholic faith. Both became Catholic in 2000.

At one point, Bob had to appear in court in Tucson but his appearance was delayed. He visited San Xavier del Bac where he prayed asking God what plan there was for him. He heard the word “Deacon.” Back in Prescott, he discussed it with his wife who asked what a deacon does. Bob said, “I don’t know. I think it’s like a head usher.”

After his 2006 ordination, Dcn. Palmer ministered to prisoners in places such as Florence and Perryville as well as serving as chaplain at Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott.

“Deacon Bob was always generous with his time,” said Fr. Dan Vollmer, pastor of St. Germaine. “In the 10 years that I knew him, he was never completely healthy. However, he never let that get in the way of being a deacon and assisting those who asked for his help. He will be missed by all of us at St. Germaine.”

Dcn. Bob is survived by his wife of 40 years, two brothers and nieces and nephews.

— By Mary Dahl, The Catholic Sun

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