Joseph LaVan Palmer was born February 7, 1929 to Joe and Hilda Palmer, in Blanding, UT. He was the oldest of five children and the only son.
He grew up working with his father on the farm, milking cows, driving a team and plowing fields. He developed a great love of horses as a child.
Van first met his loving wife, Clyda Conway, at the age of 12. Years later they married and raised a family of seven children together.
In the early years of Van and Clyda’s marriage, Van worked as a truck driver, hauling lumber to Colorado.
Later he worked for Safeway stores in Idaho and in Provo, UT.
In 1952, they moved back home to Blanding where Van ran the Utico Service Station. He then began his years of self employment. He had several businesses over the years: Blanding Mine Supply, Palmer’s Gas, Abajo Petroleum, Palmer Ford Sales, Patio, Laundromat, Palmer’s Builder’s Construction, and Palmer’s Office Supply.
Each of these businesses provided employment opportunities for his family and many others in the community.
In 1992, Van was honored as the businessman of the year, and in 1999, Van and Clyda were honored as long-time business owners. They had always worked together, side by side.
Van enjoyed restoring old cars and creating new and different vehicles to meet his needs. He enjoyed a good trade, something he started doing as a young man.
He loved visiting with people, sharing stories and memories.
Over the years of poor health, Van learned that being with his family and his horses, two things he loved dearly, was a good way to relax, and it helped him feel better. He spent many hours taking his grandchildren and great-grandchildren riding. He was a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a Scoutmaster, Ward clerk, and Stake Auditor for many years.
Van and Clyda were married 66 great years! Van had a special relationship with a loving wife, seven children, 30 grandchildren, and 73 great-grandchildren. He passed away at the age of 84, on March 2, 2013, with his wife at his side in the home they had built together and filled with love.
Van is preceded in death by his mother, Hilda; father, Joe; and two great-grandsons, Jordan Black and Tyler Palmer.
He is survived by his loving wife Clyda Conway Palmer; seven children: Terry (Cami) Palmer, Taylor (Jenice) Palmer, Sandy (Boyd) Laws, Susan (Larry) Lee, Steven (Jill) Palmer, Becky (Neil) Joslin, David (Linda) Palmer; four sisters: Joan Burgess (St. George), Lola Mae Oliver (Moab), Edna Rogers (Monticello), and Carolyn Smith (Blanding).
Card of thanks
The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, well wishes, cards and flowers. Thank you to the Blanding Seventh and Third wards for the beautiful family dinner. And thank you to Danny Palmer at the San Juan Mortuary.
It is unbelievable how many lives Van touched, and how many of you shared that with us.
Thank you for your love,
Clyda and family