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Ronald E. Palmer, 84, of Glastonbury, beloved husband of the late Mary (Turner) Palmer for 61 years, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, June 6, 2024. Born in Waltham, MA to Russell and Isabelle (Imoff) Palmer, he was then a resident of Glastonbury for over 50 years.

Ronald’s unwavering devotion to his country was demonstrated by his outstanding service in the United States Air Force. After joining the Army in 1957, he embarked on a remarkable journey that took him to Korea, Japan, and various air bases across the United States where he excelled as an air operations specialist. During his service, Ronald was the recipient of numerous awards including the Air Force and Army Commendation and Good Conduct Medals, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Service Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, to name a few. In 1976, Ronald continued his service in the Connecticut Air National Guard, making significant contributions as a member of the 103rd Fighter Group at Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, assuming key roles including Air Operations Supervisor, Intelligence Supervisor, and Senior Enlisted Advisor, demonstrating his versatility and leadership abilities. Ronald’s distinguished career was capped by numerous accomplishments, including his selection as Airman of the Year in 1982 by the 103rd Fighter Group. He also served as president of the Flying Yankee Chapter of the Air Force Association. With his retirement as Chief Master Sergeant of the Connecticut Air National Guard in 1999, Ron’s legacy of service and devotion to duty will forever be remembered and honored.

Ronald was the founder and owner of Palmer and Associates Insurance Agency in Glastonbury, where he worked alongside his children, Joseph and Elizabeth, until his retirement in 2014. He served as president of the Insurance Agents Association of Glastonbury, East Hartford and South Windsor, where his insights benefitted the entire insurance industry. In addition, he served on the President’s Advisory Council of the Professional Insurance Agents Association.

His commitment to military service extended well beyond his military career and was evident in his civilian life as well. Ron’s commitment to the community was profound, as evidenced by his leadership roles in various organizations. As president of the Service Club of Glastonbury, he led initiatives to assist those in need. Ron was also drawn to the Special Olympics, where his coaching allowed him to form meaningful connections with the athletes he mentored.

At East Catholic High School, Ron’s impact was profound and multifaceted. His tenure as chair of the ECHS Board of Education underscored his passion for education and his desire to ensure a bright future for its graduates. Ron’s vision and tireless efforts in establishing the Booster Club and the girls soccer program left an indelible mark on East Catholic. From 1980 to 1992, his tenure as girls soccer coach not only led to victories on the field, but also imparted valuable life lessons to his players. Ron’s many contributions led to his induction into the East Catholic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Ron’s influence extended beyond ECHS and was felt nationwide, including his key role as a founding member of the Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association in 1989. His rise to president and subsequent tenure as executive director of the CGSCA from 1992 to 2005 underscored his commitment to promoting the sport he loved. For his tireless commitment to girls soccer, Ron was honored with the Appreciation Award, a testament to his statewide impact on the sport.

Ron was also an avid fisherman and made many trips to Maine with family and friends each year, giving him many fond memories and creating a long tradition of camaraderie. His love of fishing led to the purchase of a lake house in Canada, where he spent many summers on the water with family and friends. He and Mary made wonderful friends in Canada, who considered them part of their extended family.

The family would like to extend their sincerest thanks to Ron’s friend and caregiver Dil and to Vitas Hospice, particularly Nurse Rachel and Nursing Assistant Lovelace. Ron received exceptional care at the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center from Dr. Olugbile, Dr. Rutter and their compassionate staff.

Ronald is survived by his son, Joseph R. Palmer and his wife, Judith, of Winsted; four daughters: Stephanie Evans and her husband, Andrew, of Glastonbury; Renee Lemay and her husband, Leon, of Glastonbury; Elizabeth Palmer and her wife, Linda Skowronek, of Portland; Andrea O’Connell and her husband, Clifford, of Durham; six grandchildren: Amanda Carabase (Duke), Allison Evans, John Palmer (Nicole), Matthew Palmer, Katherine Lemay and Erin O’Connell; and nine great-grandchildren, who brought him great joy. Ronald is also survived by his brother, Paul Palmer. In addition to his wife of 61 years, Ronald was preceded in death by his brothers, Calvin and Buddy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 14, at SS Isidore and Marie Parish, St. Augustine Church, 55 Hopewell Road, South Glastonbury. A burial with military honors will be held immediately following at Neipsic Cemetery, Glastonbury. The wake will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to East Catholic High School, 115 New State Road, Manchester CT 06040. Online condolences may be found at www.mulryanfh.com

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