Waldo Palmer, Class of 1930
"Kewpie of the Month" August 2004
David H. Hickman High School has lost one of its ALL-TIME Greatest Supporters!
The sentinel of Alexander Avenue has died.

Waldo Palmer, who never lacked for opinions and never met a stranger, passed away Friday from complications of gall bladder surgery.
For 92 years, Alexander Avenue served as Palmer’s harbor when he met his met his future wife, Nannie Mae Fenton when they were children, as he attended Hickman High School and when he worked as a painter for practically his whole life. But Palmer was better known for his doings beyond a paintbrush, daughter Eva Sue Calvin said.

There wasn’t a pond or creek in Boone County Palmer hadn’t tossed a lure into.

"He had no qualms about coming up at your door and asking if he could fish in your pond," Calvin, 67, said. "He knew where the best fishing was in the county."

Palmer taught dozens of children how to fish. And there were few people along Alexander Avenue who didn’t know Palmer, for good or bad.

"Daddy was a one-man neighborhood watch," Calvin said. "He reported to police more than one crack house in the neighborhood. He wasn’t going to let you get by with a lot of stuff in his neighborhood."

Because Palmer, his brother and his friends built the home he occupied at 414 Alexander, Palmer felt especially vested in that street.

When he wasn’t policing the neighborhood, he worked with volunteers building houses for Habitat for Humanity, served on the Library Board and worked with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Rainbow Girls.

He served from 1959 to 1960 on the Columbia City Council. In 1999 and at age 87, he opined against the "Taj Mahal" appearance of the proposed Columbia Public Library. At age 90, he argued against decriminalization of marijuana at a city council meeting. Other duties included service on the Boone County Fair Board of Directors.

"He was very active up till about six months ago," Calvin said. "If it was too cold or too hot, he didn’t get out. He had some back problems, but that didn’t stop him from getting out and seeing what was going on."

Palmer loved to drive - he even drove himself last Saturday to the hospital when he felt ill.

He and Nannie Mae kept a mattress in the bed of their blue Chevy pickup and visited all 48 contiguous states. When Calvin and her five siblings were growing up, he’d drive them around to the four corners of Boone County.

"He thoroughly enjoyed riding out of the county roads," she recalled. "He would take the family out for a ride and point out who lived where and who he used to visit. He probably knew Boone County better than anyone else."

Above story from the Columbia Daily Tribune, By DAVE MOORE of the Tribune’s staff
Click to see above story in the Tribune (2004-08-08)

See other articles from the Tribune & Kewpie Classmates
Waldo Palmer had outlet for retirement energy
Festivities help furnish high school
The Class of 1930

Back to Kewpie of the Month Page