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Marvin Palmer

Marvin Palmer, age 80 of Murdo, S.D., died Tuesday, January 25, 2011, at St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre.

Marvin A. Palmer was born December 4, 1930, in Cresbard, S.D., the son of Horace and Irene (Arner) Palmer. As a young child, his family moved to Central City where Marvin grew up, graduating from Lead High School in 1949.

Marvin entered the United States Army on February 3, 1951, where he was a tank driver, during the Korean War. While in the military, Marvin was awarded the Purple Heart from wounds he received in combat. He was honorably discharged on January 20, 1954.

Marvin started college at Black Hills Teachers College in Spearfish, majoring in music and minoring in art. While in college, Marvin worked at Homestake Gold Mine. He was united in marriage to Colleen J. Mathieu on December 4, 1954, and to this union were born two children, Debbie and Kenneth. During his college years, he played in many dance bands, including Eddie Kodet and the Kadets. Marvin graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1960.

Marvin started working in Murdo in 1960, teaching band and chorus. His first year was also split with White River. In the summertime, Marvin worked for the state of South Dakota mowing road ditches for several years, before helping Allen Iversen farm, ranch, and maintain equipment. During his 25 years at the Murdo school, he was also acting principal for a couple of years, and coached fifth and sixth grade boy's basketball and seventh and eighth grade girls' basketball.

Marvin was united in marriage to Teresa Hunt on August 6, 1977, in Midland. They made their home in Murdo, where Marvin continued to be the band director until retiring in 1985.

After his retirement, he drove the rural mail route for Mel Koester for many years, and enjoyed woodworking in the sheds behind his home. Marvin loved the time he spent at the Ford garage drinking coffee and visiting. Marvin never missed a sporting event of Ken's, or a music activity of Debbie's, and was seen at many high school events long after his kids' graduation. If there were no high school events, he would cheer on his other teams, the Colts, Yankees, Notre Dame, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Marvin was a member of the United Methodist Church and the Housing Board of Murdo, the Band Masters Association, and the American Legion.

Survivors include his wife, Teresa Palmer of Murdo; a daughter, Debbie Morris and her husband, Kevin, of Rapid City; a son, Kenneth Palmer of Black Hawk; three grandchildren, Kylie Edington of Sutherland, Neb., and Drew and Josie Morris of Rapid City; four great-grandchildren, Ethan, Aubrie, Asher, and Owen Edington; two brothers, Steve Palmer and his wife, Deb, of Lead and Harley Palmer of Mountain Home, Idaho; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Carol; and a sister-in-law, Connie Palmer.

Funeral services were held Saturday, January 29, at the Murdo City Auditorium with Pastor Gordon Higgins and Pastor Kathy Chesney officiating.

Music was provided by Ellen Valburg, pianist, with congregational hymns.

Ushers were Mike Hunt, Mike McKernan and Keith Hunt. Pallbearers were Ken, Steve and Harley Palmer, Brian O'Reilly, Jim Butt and Raymond Stotts.

Honorary pallbearers were Allen Iversen, Mel Koester, Harold Thune, Jerald Applebee, Kevin Morris and all relatives and friends in attendance.

Interment with military honors by the Sturgis Honor Guard was Monday, January 31, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

A memorial has been established.

Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com