Miriam Palmer


Miriam Hellerud Palmer happily went to be with her Savior on Jan. 10, 2022.

A long-time resident of Masonville, Miriam was born on Staten Island, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants John and Dagny Hellerud. The family eventually moved to Bainbridge. At age 12, Miriam went to work as live-in caregiver for Grace and Ken Wade in Masonville. They treated her much like a daughter, bought her a car and even sent her to college.

Miriam enjoyed many activities in high school including majorettes, girls’ sports, glee club, chorus and home economics, as well as rollerskating, and she was also a member of the Masonville Atomics 4-H Club. After high school Miriam attended Delhi Technical Institute and earned an Associates Degree in Home Economics. Many years later received also an associates degree in accounting from Delhi Tech. She worked at Bordens, Keith Clark, and eventually retired from Amphenol where she worked as a key punch operator.

Miriam married Jack Palmer in 1954. They had four children: Peter, Barbara, Jean and Robert. They made their home in Masonville for nearly 60 years before finally moving to Virginia to be closer to their daughters. But Masonville was always the place they called home.

Miriam was a whiz at math and had a keen sense for efficiency in streamlining work processes. She loved animals, cooking for her family, and sewing. But loving her children and extended family was the passion and highlight of her life. She loved taking photographs, movies and videos of her family.

She had a sharp wit, laughed a lot and brought fun and laughter to those around her. She was strong willed and had strong opinions, but she also was very loving, compassionate and generous. It made her happy to be able to share with people who needed a helping hand. Even at her nursing home she loved getting bags of candy that she then distributed to the other residents on her floor. She played the part of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus to the other residents, joyfully passing out snacks.

Miriam is survived by her three children, Jean Palmer of Glen Burnie, Md., Barbara (Rick) Grady of Fredericksburg, Va., and Peter (Sarah) Palmer of Scottsdale, Ariz.

She was pre-deceased by her husband of 60 years, Jack Palmer, and her youngest son, Robert.

She has three surviving siblings, Ethel (Willie) Kirkpatrick of Farmington, Calif., David Hellerud of Valley Center, Calif., and Dona Constantine of Tustin, Calif. Also two grandsons, Mitchell and Cole Palmer, and 20 nieces and nephews.