Reuben T. Palmer


Reuben T. Palmer of Vero Beach, Florida, and Edgartown died on August 6 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

He was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania, the son of Reuben T. Palmer III and Eleanor Fleming Palmer. His early years were spent in West Hartford and Simsbury Conn. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy, he attended Yale University, while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1944 through 1946.

He began his business career when he was called to take over his family’s Palmer Gauge & Machine Tool Company after his father died. From there he went on to a variety of careers, starting with B.C. Ames Company/Van Keuren Company as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, the development and management of two Ski Areas in Washington, Va., and Founder of Country Cupboards, a cabinetry and construction firm in Washington, Va.

He was a caring and devoted parent to his children and had many interests, including fly fishing for trout and salmon, sailing, cruising and passage-making on many oceans under sail and motor. He sailed his 50-foot sailboat, Silver Skates, 25,000 miles. He made a life-long commitment to skiing, whether competing, teaching, or coaching. Reuben and his first wife, Sally, were the first to coach their two sons, Tyler and Terry Palmer, members of the U.S. Ski Team and 1972 Olympic Downhill Team.

Reuben’s last and most successful business venture was as founder and CEO of R.T. Palmer Insurance CO. of North Conway, N.H.

During all that time, he was also a professional ski instructor and registered guide in the state of New Hampshire. He was author and publisher of “County Commerce” in North Conway, N.H., which published a “Trout Fishing Guide to Mt. Washington Valley.”

He was pre-deceased by his first wife, Sally, and daughter, Jody. He is survived by his wife, Judith Flynn Palmer, and three children, R.T. Palmer V of North Conway, N.H., Terry Palmer and his wife, Gretchen, of Sun Valley, Id., and Patricia Palmer McQuade and her husband, William, of York, Maine. As well as a step-daughte,r Edith Kilchenstein, and her husband, Michael, of Park City, Utah, five grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

He a was a member of the Edgartown Reading Room, The Quail Valley River Club of Vero Beach, Fla., and The Yale Club of The Treasure Coast in Vero Beach.

A graveside service will be held at the New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown on Tuesday, August 14, at 3 pm, followed by a reception at The Edgartown Reading Room.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Vineyard Nursing Association, and the Indian River Medical Center of Vero Beach. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.