Francis Palmer – The Lincoln County News
Francis Palmer died peacefully on January 18, 2023 surrounded by love.
He was born in New Hampshire on April 12, 1933 and came from a large family. He had three brothers Junior, Wayne and Herman. He also had four sisters, Rose, Elizabeth, Eunice and Madeline.
Francis had a kind heart and an adventurous spirit. He joined the army and served on the front lines in Korea. When he got off duty he drove a pulp truck, he always said he worked in the woods. He was employed by PH Chadbourne at Bethel for many years.
Francis had a love of the woods which carried over into his hobbies of hunting, fishing and trapping. He always had a story to tell about his adventures and he often told those stories with a laugh and a smile. Francis never shied away from adventure, even when it resulted in broken bones or abrasions along the way. He raced stock cars all over New England and was known as the Wildman, and if you wanted to see someone push it to the limit you’d want to see Francis racing at Oxford Plains on a Saturday night – his nickname suited him perfectly. He traded his love for car racing when he met his true love, Louise. They had been married for 50 years and nothing made him happier than being with her. Francis and Louise had a daughter, Melissa, and he also had two stepdaughters, Beatrice and Betty.
They had a good life together and traveled a lot. When they first started going on vacation, they headed to the coast with a Ford station wagon and a tent. The tent was for storing groceries and necessities, and they all slept in the station wagon; Francis and Louise in the back and Melissa in the front seat. They later upgraded to a pop-up RV and then a fifth wheel with a bath and shower. They would travel to the Midcoast and stay at Owls Head and Searsport Shores campground, among other places. Later in life, Francis and Louise shared a mutual love of country music and traveled to Branson, Mo. They made many trips, with Francis driving and Louise navigating.
In retirement, Francis was also a maker of weather sticks—everyone in the Bethel area knows these sticks, and with Louise he made thousands of sticks each year. The money from that hard work would enable them to go to Branson on their annual trips.
Francis took great pride in his homes and belongings. He had two houses, one in Newry near Stony Brook, where he grew fruit trees, kept bees and grew lots of vegetables and picked berries. He was someone who always liked to putt and was busy – this property was just perfect for him. Later he and Louise moved into the small greenhouse on the Locke Mills/Bethel city line, not that much land but still enough for Francis to get his hands in the dirt.
Another love was Christmas, and Francis was known for hanging thousands of lights each year, along with illuminated snowmen, reindeer, penguins and of course Santa Claus. Francis did the hard work but let Louise do the adjustments so everything looks perfect. They enjoyed this home until Francis lost his one true love, after which he moved to Jefferson to be close to his daughter Melissa.
Jefferson offered Clary Lake where he befriended a neighbor who would take him fishing – not too many fish were caught, but being on the water always offers a good adventure. In 2019, Francis had the opportunity to take the Honor Flight Maine – where war veterans are given a trip to Washington, DC to see all the war memorials – it was a first class trip and one that was even better for being able to share it with his daughter and, as luck would have it, with his grandson Os. Francis was fortunate to spend his final months at the new Veterans Home in Augusta – a place we all called “the Palace” – where he made friends and was lovingly cared for by the amazing staff.
Heartbroken, all I can say is, “They don’t make her like that anymore.” I’ve lost my father and my best friend, but it’s comforting to know that he’s with my mother and his true love, Louise — they’re back together , how it should be.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 19 at 11am at the Chandler Funeral Home, 45 Main St., South Paris.
Online condolences can be shared with his family at chandlerfunerals.com.