Russell "Bob" Palmer

Russell Robert "Bob" Palmer, of St. Louis, MO., born April 20, 1938, in Collinsville, IL, and former resident of Belleville, IL, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ peacefully while in the arms of his children on Monday, April 18, 2011, after a long battle with cancer.

Bob graduated from Collinsville High School in 1956. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving on USS Forrestal aircraft carrier. He then received his degree in business and accounting from Southern Illinois University.

He was a talented, natural athlete despite not having the means for any formal training. In high school, he was the leading pole-vaulter and always loved track and field. He was also the top high school tennis player and a life-long, accomplished player. Health and conditioning were important parts of his life, and he maintained a consistent workout routine until his illness would simply not allow it.  

His business ambition, talent and resourcefulness were evident at an early age.  As a young boy, he collected and sold used magazines, found various jobs and saved by burying his money jar in the yard, digging it up and moving it frequently for safekeeping.   

As an adult, Bob's first job was with Emerson Electric. In 1963, in Chicago, he began his career in the trailer leasing business with Strick Trailer, who later sent him to open a St. Louis division. Finally, in 1965, with very little capital, he founded Palmer Leasing, Inc. and with dedication, care, patience, and a tremendous amount of self-determination, he grew the business to be one of the largest firms of its type in the Midwest. He often said he believed in treating others as he would like to be treated, and his success proved his honest values were rewarded. His company was an extension of the family to Bob, and he brought his son Bobby into the business in 1987 and his daughter Shannon in 2000.  They will work together to carry on the business to honor their father's legacy and manage its portfolio businesses.

Responsible for many - successful entrepreneur - advisor and friend. He was generous to others and asked for very little for himself.  He was a man of tremendous courage, faith, integrity, dedication to detail, simple tastes and frugality, an extremely loving father, grandfather and friend to many...always generous to others, even while fighting a terminal illness. A very gentle, kind and Christ-Loving man; he will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.

Bob was preceded in death by his:

  • Father: Russell Palmer
  • Mother: Lauretta Hadfield Palmer
  • Nephew: John Robert Pikoriatis

Surviving are his:

  • Son: Robert "Bobby" D. Palmer of St. Louis, MO (daughter-in-law Barbara L. Scharf-Palmer,
    •  Granddaughters
      •  Christin K.
      •  Victoria E.
      •  Amelia C. E.
      •  Marguerite "Maggie"
  • Daughter: Shannon K. Palmer of Austin, TX
  • Sister: Betty Lou Bunder of Fairview Heights, IL
  • Dear nieces
    • Cheryl Lynn Pace of Collinsville, IL
    • Laurie Jordan of St. Louis, MO
      •  and their families
  • Mother of his children: Karen S. Palmer of O'Fallon, IL

The family would like to thank Bob's physicians, nurses, caregivers, close friends and core contributors to the quality and length of his life over the last few years.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to  The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions is a nonprofit think tank and catalyst for action that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. Their mission is to accelerate the progress of discovery and development of new medical solutions for deadly and debilitating diseases.

Visitation: Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, IL, on Friday, April 22, 2011, between 4-8 pm.

Funeral Service: First Baptist Church of Collinsville, IL, on 
Saturday, April 23, 2011, 10:30 a.m. welcome and visitation, 11 a.m. Tribute, followed by burial with those preceded in death at St. John's Cemetery in Collinsville, IL.

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