Rodger Edward Palmer


Dr. Rodger Edward Palmer, “Buddy”, age 83, died on May 10, 2022 after an 18 month battle with lung cancer. Rodger was the youngest of six children, born at his home farmstead in Evergreen Township to Fred and Frances Palmer, on December 1, 1938. He graduated from Frazee High School. Following high school, Rodger enlisted in the army and spent two years as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, NC. Rodger graduated from the University of MN with a BS in Agricultural Education. He taught Vocational Agriculture in Pine City, MN, developed and taught an adult farm management course, and worked at DAVTI as the Agricultural program coordinator for NE MN, requiring 40,000 miles of travel a year. He returned to the University of MN to complete his Master’s and PhD in Vocational Education. He worked as a Research Associate and Assistant Professor in Ag Ed, later as the Adult Extension Director at DAVTI, and retired from the Duluth Public Schools as the Grant Writing Director. Rodger lived a life of service. He joined the Lions Club in 1979 and held many positions including 5M10 District Governor. He helped start over twenty new Lions Clubs in Minnesota. He was also a member of the Am Vets in Frazee, serving as commander for the last several years. Rodger played an active role in the creation of the Vergas Veteran’s Memorial Park. He created a flagpole fundraiser, selling and personally installing over 90 flagpoles with his classmate Kenny Hoehne. Family was very important to Rodger and he loved attending his children and grandchildren’s events, plays and concerts. He would frequently drive to Duluth and back in a single day to attend special occasions. He is survived by his wife Elaine Palmer, children Beth (Scott) Sommer, Patti Palmer, Marc Palmer, Chuck (Mary) Palmer, Jen (Michael) Emerson, Joel Love, Wendy (Jeff) Zitzow, Christy Love, grandchildren Tyler (Casey) Sommer, Lindsay Sommer, Nick Sommer, Samantha Brown, Jake Brown, Annika, Svea and Peter Emerson, and Derek Zitzow, a great grandson due in July, former spouse Sandra Palmer, brother-in-law Gene Stoll, cousins, nieces, nephews and numerous friends. Services held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frazee, MN. Visitation: Friday, May 20 from 4-7pm.  Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, May 21 at 2:00pm.

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