Harvey Earl Palmer

10/17/1929 — 03/26/2024

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Public Viewing

Starts:
Tue, April 2, 2024, 9:00 am
Ends:
Tue, April 2, 2024, 10:30 am
Location:
LDS Thayer Chapel

1720 Thayer Dr.

Richland, WA US 

Celebration of Life

Starts:
Tue, April 2, 2024, 11:00 am
Location:
LDS Thayer Chapel

1720 Thayer Dr.

Richland, WA US 

Harvey Earl Palmer

Harvey Earl Palmer completed his mortal journey on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at age 94.  Throughout his life he continually served his family and community.  He was a kind, gentle giant who was well-respected by all those who knew him.

Earl was the eldest son born to Jesse and Stella Palmer in October 1929, at the start of the great stock market crash, preceding the great depression.  He grew up in Inkom, Idaho, located near Pocatello.  His childhood days were spent working in the house, yard and garden, playing “kick the can”, and exploring the surrounding hills, lava rock formations, and streams, with his friends and many cousins who lived nearby.

As a youth, Earl enjoyed fishing, hunting, sledding, skiing, bicycling, hiking, exploring caves and tunnels, swimming, ice skating, making stilts and rubber band guns.  As he grew older, he worked for several farmers harvesting hay, wheat, peas, beans, potatoes, and sugar beets.  As a teenager, he got a job at the Naval Ordnance Plant in Pocatello, and was able to buy his first car, a 1929 Model A Ford Coupe for $100.  He also had jobs preparing chickens for chicken dinners and delivering coal.  He graduated from Inkom High School with a graduating class of 12 Seniors.

Earl’s first full-time job after graduating from high school was as a laborer on the railroad track maintenance section gang, based in Inkom.  He also worked at the cement plant for eight years, including working in the chemical and physical testing laboratory.  This is where he became interested in chemistry and decided to enroll in college.  In his junior year of college, he met Myrna Potter at a dance at the Deleta Ballroom in Pocatello.  They got married in the Idaho Falls Temple, August 20, 1954.  Earl graduated in May of 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.  He was offered a job by the General Electric Company at the Hanford Project in Richland, Washington and started work in January 1956.

Earl and Myrna raised five children.  He described the period of his life from marriage until the children were all married as the happiest and most rewarding time of his life.

The majority of Earl’s career was with Battelle Northwest, working at the Whole Body Counting facility used to measure radioactivity in people.  This also included work measuring radiation in caribou and Alaska Natives, due to radioactive fallout.  He also worked on studies for NASA on effects of weightlessness on the body composition of astronauts.  He was published in over 80 scientific papers in Health Physics, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, international symposiums, and various nuclear and radiation publications.  Earl was elected a Fellow member of the Health Physics Society in 1990, and in 2012 received the distinguished Herbert Parker Award.  He was an Affiliate Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Washington, and also listed in the American Men of Science.

Earl retired from Battelle in 1990, and as an inventor, pursued other interests including development of a radiation detector for measuring low levels of alpha activity in materials used to make computer chips, a mercury detector used for prospecting purposes, and the Bait Shuttle used for fishing.

Earl is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and held several callings including High Counselor, Bishop, and Patriarch.  Earl especially enjoyed working with young men in the scouting and exploring programs.  He also served a mission with his wife, Myrna, in Romania from 1994-1996.

Earl has persevered through many health issues over the last several years and is now resting peacefully.  And while we will miss him, he has returned to a happy reunion with his dear wife, friends, and relatives on the other side.

Earl is survived by his children, Dirk Palmer, David Palmer (Vicki), Cindy Bricker (Ed), Linda Peterson (Gary), Nancy Brigman (Rick), and brother, Robert Leon Palmer (Judy).  And also 24 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrna Palmer, parents, Jesse and Stella Palmer, brother RD Palmer, sisters, Donna Mae Palmer, Lorraine Briggs and Marilyn Fifer.

A viewing will be held Tuesday, April 2, 2024, 9:00-10:30 am, followed by funeral services at 11:00 am, both at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Thayer Chapel, 1720 Thayer Dr, Richland, WA.  Also, on Friday, April 5, 2024, at the Inkom Chapel, 801 N Rapid Creek Rd, Inkom, ID, a viewing will be held from 9:00-9:45 am, followed by funeral services at 10:00 am, followed by interment at the Inkom Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Fund or Missionary Fund.

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Harvey Earl Palmer

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  • Earl was a fine and productive scientist and an outstanding person in all respects. It was an honor to be his friend. Our world had lost one of its finest.

    Ronald Kathren
    April 6, 2024
    Richland, WA
  • What a great man, and a well-lived life. I’m sure there were many happy reunions on the other side. Looking forward to celebrating Uncle Earl tomorrow in Inkom.

    Sam Hunt
    April 4, 2024
    Pocatello, ID
  • Earl and Myrna make bed into Guardian Angels on the same weekend as mom did, he was wonderful to visit with. He passed the same month ringing as mom, it won’t be the same. Blessing. Laura Kuykendall

    Laura
    April 1, 2024
    Richland
  • It was a pleasure working with you Earl the couple years before your retirement. I appreciated the solid basis you and others established for whole body counting program. I admired your calm and thoughtful approach to ljfe!

    Tim Lynch
    April 1, 2024
    Richland
  • So sorry for your loss Dirk. I always enjoyed spending time with him when possible. My thought and prayers are with you and your family.

    Jill Kovach
    March 31, 2024
    Jacksonville, NC
  • Earl was a kind and gentle man. I met him and Myrna at Guardian Angel when my Mom lived there. He was so good to Myrna and cared for her so lovingly until she passed away. I enjoyed visiting Earl at GA even after my Mom passed away. He always had a smile and a good word. He was of course a brilliant scientist, kept up on Hanford history, and read current books on the Manhattan Project, which we enjoyed discussing. I am so sorry for your family and all of us who will miss him.

    Teresa Knirck
    March 30, 2024
    Richland
  • Knowing Earl and Myrna was not only an honor but a privilege. I have been blessed in helping with the care of both wonderful people.

    Sheryl
    March 30, 2024
    Gah
  • Sorry for your loss . He was a great man and friend.

    Jim Valenti
    March 30, 2024
    Carthage MO
  • What a great Man, Neighbor, Friend! So grateful for the time and I’m sure sacrifices Earl and Myrna gave being there for my mom for so many years after Dad died! Loved learning about all his great achievements! So happy our parents can all be together again building our woodbury neighborhood in heaven 😇. Love to all of you !
    Janet

    Janet Turner
    March 30, 2024
    Kennewick Wa
  • What a guy! He could not be more gracious and humble. I loved being around him and could learn anything through his inspiring and brilliant ways. His wife knew my mom, and I hope he’ll also have a chance to meet my mother in their new realms. The Palmers are a special family that won’t be forgotten! I hope we can be more like them.

    Steve Stallings
    March 30, 2024
    Richland, WA
  • Eatl was the. Best Man at my parents (Vernon & Elaine Andrews) wedding. I’m sure they are all having a wonderful reunion in Heaven.
    Yeresa Moore

    Teresa
    March 29, 2024
    Moore
  • Love you Uncle Earl!!!

    Mike Potter i
    March 29, 2024
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Earl is one of the greatest men I’ve been privileged to know. In addition to his brilliant mind, he was remarkable in countless ways. I often recall his examples integrity, perseverance, patience, and quiet humor. He is truly one of the noble and great ones. Now, enjoying the reunion with his dear wife, Myrna.

    Alice Lingam
    March 29, 2024
    Camano Island, WA
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