Jenkin Thomas Palmer

Tom Palmer, 68, one of the last true cowboys of the west, who blazed a trail for the rights of cattlemen in the State of Idaho and was unwavering in his 32-year commitment to Alcoholics Anonymous and those suffering from alcoholism, died May 24 at his home on the Palmer Ranch in Malad, Idaho, from congestive heart failure and diabetic complications.
Tom was born December 30, 1941, to Jenkin and Sarah Palmer of Malad, Idaho. Tom and Edna Harper were married December 4, 1964.
Though Tom graduated from Malad High School and attended the University of Idaho and Idaho State University he was most comfortable chasing wild horses in Nevada or riding bareback horses at rodeos from here to Cheyenne or on top of a mountain gazing at cattle from the back of his horse.
Tom worked for Idaho Power for eight years in Pocatello before following his dream to be a cattle rancher and taking over the family ranch in Malad from his father Jenkin. He spent his entire life fighting for the rights of cattlemen. In fact, some might say he was born to be a thorn in the side of the Fish and Game. In 2003, he was awarded Cattleman of the Year by The Idaho Cattle Association.
In recent years, Tom joined Mary Ann Reel in creating Mountain Valley Realty. No one could talk up a piece of land like Tom. But, his biggest calling was to the thing that saved his life at the age of 36: Alcoholics Anonymous. He never missed a meeting, sponsored many people over his 32 years of service, and saved many lives along the way.
Tom is survived by his wife Edna, his son Travis and wife Shay, his son Ernest and partner Michael of Leavenworth, WA, his brother Stan and wife Janice of Idaho Falls, his foster brother Sherm Facer of Layton, Utah, and his grandchildren Justen, Jaicee, and Marquel. He is survived by his extended family, Rick and Linda Sullivan and children Ashley and Quort, Dave and Shauna Maddox and children Cheyenne and Cordell, Matt Gunther, and James Carter. He was preceded in death by a brother, Ernest David, and his father Jenkin and mother Sarah.
Tom often said, “If you don’t get off that pity pot, you’ll get a ring around your butt.” So, in celebration of Tom’s life there will be an AA Funeral Service on Friday, May 28, at twelve noon at the AA Meeting Room at 765 South Main Street in Malad. This will be a traditional meeting and will include a life sketch, anecdotes, and music by Jill Blaisdell, Stan Palmer, and Ernest Palmer. Everyone is welcome.
There will be a viewing at the Horsley Funeral Home at 132 W. 300 N. in Malad on Thursday, May 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Friday morning, May 28, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Graveside services will be held following the AA Service at the Palmer Ranch Family Cemetery at 3798 W 500 S., Malad.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that donations be made to the Malad AA Group in care of Edna Palmer or to the Oneida County Hospital Memorial Fund for a dialysis machine. The family wishes to express thanks to Creekside Home Health Care for the compassion they provided during Tom’s illness.