Glenn Allen Palmer was definitely “a science guy.” His longtime interest in science influenced his goals in education and in pursuing a career. He enjoyed talking and reading about science and stimulating interest in science, especially with young children and teenagers. He always wanted to know “the facts” and where they came from. “Quote your source” was one of his favorite sayings. With this in mind, here are some of “the facts” about his life.
Glenn was born to loving parents, Elsie and William Palmer, on Oct. 22, 1935. They lived in a small town in northern Wisconsin. He was the youngest of four children. He spent his childhood and attended school (K through 12) in Ladysmith, Wis. He always enjoyed school, loved reading and learning new things.
After graduating in 1953, he enrolled in a University of Wisconsin college. After about two years, he became restless and enlisted in the army. In the army, he was sent to the Army Security School and the Signal School and then assigned to Germany for about two years.
When his enlistment was over, he returned to Wisconsin and college. During this time, he realized that he could combine his interest in science with his interest in children and youth by becoming a teacher. So, he finished his bachelor’s degree in science education in 1960 and eventually his master’s degree in teaching physics. 1960 was an important year, not only for obtaining his bachelor’s degree, but also for beginning his years of teaching. Also in 1960, he married Sue, his loving wife of 60 years.
From 1960 to 1967, Glenn taught physics and advanced math at Chetek High School in northern Wisconsin. In 1966, he was invited to be part of a University of Wisconsin project funded by USAID. This was a two year assignment (1967–1969) to northern Nigeria where he would teach science and develop science curriculum materials for Nigerian teacher training schools. He and his wife were excited by the opportunity and very eager to go. The result was an interesting, a truly wonderful two-year experience of living in a culture which was, in many ways, so different from anything they’d known.
After the time in Nigeria, Glenn returned to the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he finished his PhD in 1972. He then accepted a position at Rider University where he taught science education to prospective teachers. He finished his teaching career at Rider but continued his involvement in science education. He became a science supervisor at Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Schools, N.J., from which he retired in 1998. His wife retired the next year, and they decided to continue living in their very pleasant neighborhood in Hightstown, N.J.
There was much more to Glenn than his interest in and devotion to science education. He enjoyed sports in high school where he played on the baseball team and began his lifelong interest in golf and tennis. He played both in his last year. He also enjoyed playing pool, pingpong and bridge. He played pool and bridge at the local senior center.
Glenn also was a happy traveler. His first real traveling experience came with his army experience in Germany when he was able to visit three additional countries in Europe. In later years, he and Sue traveled to most of the countries of Europe, along with visits to China, New Zealand, South America and Central America.
Glenn died unexpectedly and suddenly on Friday, April 10, 2020, while he was working in his backyard. He is survived by his wife, brother, sister-in-law and many dear nieces and nephews.
A celebration and appreciation of his life will take place when possible.
Visit Glenn’s permanent memorial site at www.glennpalmer.forevermissed.com.