Marilyn Foster Palmer of Falmouth, who greeted visitors to the hospital gift shop for a quarter-century, died Tuesday, March 12, at Royal Megansett Nursing & Retirement Home in North Falmouth. She was 92.
A lifelong resident of town, she was born in East Falmouth to Clarence W. and Helen Reynolds. Following her graduation from Lawrence High School, she was a clerk-typist at Camp Edwards Convalescent and General hospitals before the camp was closed in the 1940s.
She was the former wife of the late Russell C. Palmer, the owner and operator of Cape Cod Bus Lines, which was based on Walker Street.
After raising her children, she volunteered for more than 25 years at the Falmouth Hospital Gift Shop, where her hand-knit sweaters, caps and blankets for newborns were a favorite of customers. In March 2001 Ms. Palmer was selected as the Hospital Volunteer of the Month and lauded for her "outstanding dependability and her willingness to help out in any way she can." She would also donate to the gift shop all the aforementioned items she knit at home to help raise money for the hospital. A fellow volunteer said, "We just can't say enough about her. . . she just spreads happiness around."
Ms. Palmer was known for her gardens at her longtime home on Queen Street and had won several awards for her efforts. When the Falmouth Garden Club in 1998 profiled her in the awards announcement that summer, Ms. Palmer was described as a "serious" gardener "who works daily in her gardens. She says it is never a chore; on the contrary, she experiences great delight in caring for her 39 different perennials" along with 10 annuals. The club also made note of a sign placed discretely among the flowers: "Love grows where the garden grows.''
Twelve years ago, she moved to Dillingham Place and enjoyed the community there.
She leaves six children, Melanie McDonald of Seekonk, Diane Soderland of Ipswich, Wanda Stetson of Burlington, Vermont, David Seeley of Natick, Linda Cannata of Mashpee, and Joel Seeley of Stow; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and extended family.
A private service will be held at a future date.