Catherine Mair Palmer (nee, Evans)

13/09/1935 - 31/10/2020

Obituary For Catherine Mair Palmer (nee, Evans)

September 13, 1935 – October 31, 2020

It is with great sorrow that the family of Catherine Mair Palmer announce her sudden, quiet passing at home in her bed in Fox Creek on October 31, 2020 at the age of 85 years.

Cathy (Mair, to her Welsh family) was born in Mountain Park, Alberta where her father worked in the coal mines. She loved the mountains.

She attended school in Luscar, Alberta until grade 9. She transferred to Crescent Heights High in Calgary to complete grades 10 and 11 because Luscar didn’t have a high school. Her family moved to Nordegg and was able to return to her family completing grade 12 in one year by supplementing her course load with correspondence courses (including Latin). At that time grade 12 was often two years.

Catherine attended the University of Alberta, obtaining a two-year teaching diploma in 1955. Her first teaching job was in Bentley, Alberta where she met Derald Palmer. Catherine and Derald eloped on July 4, 1957 and they moved to Blackfalds, Alberta. (to her death she still owned the first house on Wilson Street that they had built and lived in). In 1962 Derald was transferred by Chevron to Fox Creek (Iosegun Lake Post Office at the time). Catherine packed her belongings and her then two young children, Terry, and Patricia, following in 1963. She embraced the new community from the moment she got there calling it home, choosing the location for her final breath.

Catherine took an active role in supporting the community from the moment of arrival. She would offer her time and help wherever it was needed and to whomever needed it.

Despite two young children under wing Catherine accepted the challenge of teaching multiple grades in a two-room schoolhouse almost from her arrival in the community because the kids of Fox Creek needed a teacher or get bussed to Valleyview. She continued teaching with the East Smoky School Division until her retirement in 1995, only taking time off when her son Allen was born. She loved teaching and she loved her “kids”; and the students loved her in return.

Catherine’s infectious smile, droll sense of humor, sparkling eyes and generosity would eventually overcome her gruff no nonsense exterior.

Catherine was passionate about education and learning. She challenged herself to complete her teaching degree through night classes and correspondence courses. Many evenings she travelled with fellow teachers to either Whitecourt or Valleyview on winter highways to take additional courses. Further motivated by her husband's death in 1976 she fast tracked by attending University of Alberta summer school in Edmonton. She graduated from the U of A with her bachelor’s in education in 1979.

During the early years in Fox Creek she and Derald (and often her children) spent days and evenings busy volunteering and enjoying community life at either the old community hall or the old quonsit curling rink. Catherine was in Town of Fox Creek public office for two terms. 1979 to 1983 (board member) and 1983 to 1986 (Councilor). In 1996 she received Citizen of the Town Award for her active involvement in Fox Creek Community. In 2006 she received Volunteer of the Year for Tireless Enthusiasm, dedication and Hard work in the community.

She was active with the Fox Creek Ladies Club for years until it folded. The group catered events in town and raised money for the community and equipment for the hospital; often assisting the Fox Creek Lions Club in their events. She joined the Fox Creek Lions Club in 1999 and received her 15-year award pin in 2014. Each year she helped with the Christmas Baskets, collecting Super Saver Cards for the Lions club to help purchase the food, and then sorting it all for delivery. She volunteered with the Fox Creek Legion Catering for more than 10 years although she was never a Legion member. With History as one of her passions, she was an active member of the Fox Creek Historical Society until her death; always looking forward to their annual Duck Race.

In her later years, to keep socially active and stay in touch with friends she joined the Red Hat Society and later the Crown Jewels, always looking forward to the monthly get togethers.
Catherine took pleasure in playing her piano, going to live theatre or music concerts, dancing, painting, and traveling (especially to Wales as it was the birthplace of both her parents and where she had many relatives). She thoroughly enjoyed curling, whether she was on the ice playing, socializing with her friends and teammates at the curling rink, or just watching it on TV.

The last few years while staying in Grande Prairie, she and her daughter attended all the plays at Grande Prairie Live Theatre, hung out in the rain at the Bear Creek Folk Festival, crashed Chamber of Commerce events, did Lunch and Learns at the City and attended the Grande Prairie Safety University, and took the occasional trip to Edmonton for more theatre and concerts.
Catherine is survived by her children Terry Palmer (Kim), Patricia Palmer, and Allen Palmer (Sunny); her grandchildren Bryce Palmer (Tanya), Brady Palmer (Andreanna), Aaron Palmer(Kalen), Sarah Palmer (Tyler), and Kristine Palmer, her great grandchildren Liam, Cowen, Aubrey, Noah, Anika, Jaxyn, Holdyn, Gracie, Carson and Carter, one sister, Eluned Smith (Ed) and many cousins and nieces.

She was predeceased by her husband Derald, parents Howell and Cecilia Evans, sister Margaret Gilbertson, and many aunts and uncles and cousins.

Due to Covid 19 the family has chosen to wait to hold the Memorial / Celebration of Life for Catherine until larger gathering sizes are allowed so she can share a beer with everyone.

Catherine was always a social person who loved a good party and sharing a beer and laughs with friends and relatives. Catherine didn’t like the computer so a Zoom Celebration would be inappropriate. The Celebration will be held in the town she loved the most, Fox Creek; she will later be placed with her beloved husband Derald in Bentley, Alberta in a private ceremony.

Until that time and date, “You be good!”

Donations in Memory of Catherine may be made to the Fox Creek Hospital, Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Three of the many charities she supported.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742

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Mrs.Palmer was my grade 4 teacher and I respected her immensely. I appreciated her no nonsense approach to teaching. One of my favourite things as a child was when she would play the piano for us and get us to pick the song, she seemed to really enjoy that.! La Cucaracha was one of my favourites 🙂
- Cher Carty
Cathy was my teacher in 1967. A wonderful teacher and friend
- Dale Hallett
She was always a joy when she came to the arena to watch her grandchildren.
- David Bouchie
So very sorry to hear that Cathy has passed away, but grateful that she was able to be in her own home when it was her time.Cathy was one of a kind, and will be remembered by us all.
- Charlie & Susan

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

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If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

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Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

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The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

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It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

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Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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