Local meteorologist Thomas Yealy Palmer, 88, of Fallbrook, Calif., passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 at the Fallbrook Skilled Nursing Facility. Tom was born in Kiowa, Kansas to Thomas Joseph and Maude Palmer. His father was a telegrapher for the Santa Fe Railroad and a wheat farmer. Tom had one brother, Richard, and a sister-in-law, Marie.
Tom started college at the University of Wichita, but at age 18 was inducted into the Army. He served in the infantry in the South Pacific fighting the Japanese on Okinawa and other South Pacific islands. During his service, Tom received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for heroism. After the war, Tom attended St. Louis University where he received his B.S. in Meteorology and Climatology.
He then moved to Seattle, Wash. and worked at Northwest Airlines as a meteorologist. During that time Tom met Jeraldine (Jeri) Palmer and married her in 1953. Tom and Jeri then moved to Albuquerque, N.M. where Tom worked at the Sandia Corporation. They moved back to Seattle where Tom attend the University of Washington and receive his M.S. in Meteorology. During that time they had a son Kevin (Lex).
After that they moved to Cambridge, Mass. where Tom worked at the Air Force Cambridge Research Lab. In 1962, Tom and Jeri returned to Seattle where Tom worked for the Boeing Company and their son Keith was born. In 1967, Tom and family move to Riverside, Calif. where Tom worked at the US Forest Service Fire Research Lab. They then moved to Fallbrook in 1973 where Tom worked as a grower and meteorologist for the Fallbrook Enterprise and then the North County Times. Tom’s one regret was not being able to finish his home windmill design that “was going to change home wind power generation.”
Tom is survived by his wife Jeri of 59 years; his two sons, Keith Palmer and his wife Susan, Kevin (Lex) Palmer and his wife Christine; and his grandchildren, Jacob (9) and Julia Palmer (6). Per his wishes, Tom will be cremated and buried at sea.