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Alps bids final farewell to community icon Carmen Palmer

Life Tributes

BY KARYL WALKER walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013    

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ON Saturday, April 13, scores of mourners turned out at the Alps New Testament Church of God in Trelawny to say their final farewell to a stalwart community member at a thanksgiving service in honour of her life.

Palmer was obviously well-loved by the residents of the farming district, which is nestled in the hills of Trelawny, as the pews of the church were filled and many mourners stood on the outside of the building.

Palmer died after a prolonged illness.

She was 80 years old.

Her niece Dionne McFarlane remembered her as a strong, no-nonsense woman in character and expression.

"Auntie Carmen exhibited physical strength that would make most physically fit men envious, and many stories are told of how strong she was and I'll share one with you. Every Sunday morning, back in the days, the bread truck would pass through the community and most residents would purchase their loaf of bread. On this particular morning, Miss Carmen's strength would save the life of a member of the community as she had to prevent the reversing bread truck from crushing 'Miss Dill' by using her hands to 'kotch' the truck so that 'Miss Dill' could be pulled from the ground. This strength earned her the name Power," McFarlane said.

Carmen Palmer was born in Alps on May 4, 1932 to parents Samuel and Maria Campbell. She was the fifth of seven children.

She gained some semblance of education at the Alps Elementary School which, according to McFarlane, was cut short after a schoolmate played a prank by pulling off her hat.

"This did not go down well with her and she never went back to school. Nevertheless, it was obvious by communicating with Auntie Carmen that she was a smart, self-made, business savvy-woman," she said.

In November, 1956 Palmer exchanged nuptials with Leslie Palmer at the Ulster Spring Baptist Church.

The union produced one child.

Her husband predeceased her a decade ago, but during their loving union it was a wonderful sight to see them working in harmony on their small farm on weekdays and selling their produce in the market on weekends.

Palmer was also remembered as a dedicated Christian who displayed unwavering loyalty to the church.

"Auntie Carmen embodied every trait of a virtuous woman, taking care of her household and teaching her child to love and honour God," McFarlane said.

Carmen Palmer's remains were interred at the family plot in Alps.

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