Hal Palmer, 80

March 4, 1942 - September 21, 2022

Funeral Home Link

Hal Eugene “Gene” Palmer died Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022 at NMMC after a brief illness. He was 80. Born in Quitman County on March 4, 1942 to sharecropper parents, Daniel and Sadie Warren Palmer, he grew up in that area and attended the public schools.  Gene served in the U. S. Army before being honorably discharged.  He attended Barber School in Memphis and set up his own shop including a shoe shining chair.  One of his favorite customers was a guy named Elvis Presley. In addition, he was a partner with Wilbert Vault Company.  Ever entrepreneurial, he eventually owned the Western Auto Store in Okolona several years.  He then became a salesman for Goodyear Tires, a job of over 25 years.  Gene eventually became a public school bus driver with the Tupelo Public Schools, a work that he found great satisfaction from.  He literally ran his bus route(Bus #9)  until his death.  He was much beloved by his “students” and they loved him.  In his spare time, he loved tending, mowing and manicuring his yard, listening to country music, riding his Gator, watching westerns and being an avid Ole Miss Rebel fan. Gene was a Baptist by faith and a 32 Degree Scottish Rite Mason.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 4 PM Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 from the Sadie Holland Memorial Chapel at Holland Funeral Directors-Tupelo with his son in law, Rev. Dr. Randy Lewman, officiating.  Private burial will take place in Lee Memorial Park.  Visitation will be from 5 pm-7pm on Friday and from 3 PM-service time on Saturday, all at Holland-Tupelo Chapel, which is honored to be serving their friends.   For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Livestreaming.

Gene is survived by his wife, Joy Palmer of Dorsey; his daughter, Tracey Lewman  and husband, Randy of Okolona; his son, Casey Palmer of Skyline and their Mother, Sara Palmer of Okolona;  a step daughter, Christi Whitmon of Dorsey; 3 grandchildren, Hannah Gregory and husband, Austin of Thaxton, Austin Whitmon and Landon Whitmon (Abby);  two great grandchildren, Charlie Brook Gregory and Knox Gregory; 1 sister, Wilma Palmer of Baldwyn and his school bus children.   He was preceded in death by his parents and Stepdaughter, Tina Witcher.

Memorials may be made to LeBonheur Chidlren’s Hospital,  P. O. Box 41817, Memphis, Tn. 38174 or to the Association for Excellence in Education C/O Create P.O. BOX 1053, Tupelo, Mississippi  38801.

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