Winston Ray Palmer

Winston Ray Palmer

Winston Ray Palmer was born September 25, 1947, the second of eight children, including six boys.  He was strong, active and competitive, worked hard milking cows, feeding, training, and riding horses, played football, basketball and baseball, and enjoyed swimming, hiking, camping, fishing and other outdoor activities with his brothers. Winston was an excited eight-year-old when his mother brought twin baby girls home from the hospital.  Three years later, Winston saw one of them run over by a car.  He prayed for God to spare her life and she lived.  Winston grew in spiritual and physical strength and stature.  He graduated high school, served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Argentina then attended college for a year. In the prime of his life, Winston stood at least six feet tall, weighed about 200 pounds, married in the Mesa Arizona Temple, and expected his first child.  He was 23 and a happy man, but one moment changed his life.  While dirt biking on the desert with a few friends in the summer of 1971, he jumped a wash, broke his back, severed his spinal cord, and was left a paraplegic.  His daughter was born in September while Winston underwent rigorous recuperation and physical therapy.  He lived the next 45 years in a wheelchair, but he adopted two more children, finished college and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling, using his Spanish in his work.  He coached basketball and baseball teams and served ward and stake missions.  He played the piano and guitar and sang songs like “Hot Rod Lincoln.”  He attended every family event he could.  His marriage failed, but he remarried and helped raise his second wife’s three children.  When that marriage failed, he moved to Utah to be closer to his grandsons.  He was an avid fan and took them to sports practices, and events in his car equipped with special hand gears.  Winston supported himself until the fall of 2012, when his shoulders gave out and he was forced to live in rehab facilities. Winston died December 30, 2015, age 68, a faithful member of the church.  He left a posterity of three children, two sons-in-law, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  His family is grateful that his broken body can finally be used for good in helping others after his death.