Dr. Joe A. Palmer, age 86, of Vidalia died Saturday, June 27, 2020, at the Community Hospice House in Vidalia after an extended illness. He was born in Lakeland, Florida and as a young child moved to Glenwood. He was a graduate of Glenwood High School and Emory University School of Dentistry. He served as a Captain with the Dental Corp in the U.S. Army for two years. Dr. Palmer began his dental practice in Vidalia in 1960 and retired in 2002 with a combined forty-four years in dentistry. He was an active member of First Baptist Church Vidalia, teaching several Sunday school classes including Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class for many years. In addition to his long history of Deacon Service, he also finished church elder preparation and will now become Elder Emeritus.
After the death of their young son, Jody, Joe and Joan began a lifelong ministry as they counseled and encouraged many people through the grieving process resulting from the loss of a child or loved one. They also lead a grief support group program together for several years at First Baptist Vidalia. They soon became leaders of the local Grief Share program which began operating through a partnership between FBC Vidalia and Community Hospice. He was a past president of the Jaycee’s and was a former member of the Vidalia Kiwanis Club. He was preceded in death by a son, Jody Palmer; and parents, Joe B. Palmer and Iva Belle Tipton Palmer.
Dr. Palmer is survived by his wife of sixty years, Joan Lindsey Palmer; two sons, Jeff C. Palmer and wife Kristen, and Joel L. Palmer and wife Erica; one brother, Royce Palmer and wife Trelawney, all of Vidalia; one sister-in-law, Laura Kersey of Macon; four grandchildren, Jodi Palmer Tharpe and husband Trenton of Statesboro, Jack Palmer, Sara Kate Palmer and Luke Palmer, all of Vidalia; and three nieces.
The funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 30th, at 10:00 a.m. in the First Baptist Church with Reverend Don Moye, Reverend Ricky Cummings and Reverend Tracy Todd officiating. Burial will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens with Reverend Scott Morrison.
The family will receive friends at the First Baptist Church of Vidalia on Monday from 5:00 until 8:00.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Missions Fund, P.O. Box 631, Vidalia, GA 30475 or to the Community Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 2277, Vidalia, GA 30475.
Social distancing procedures will be followed, and it is requested that a mask be worn at the visitation and the funeral service.
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