Richard “Dick” Alva Palmer

September 11, 1935 - April 22, 2020

Richard (Dick) Alva Palmer, 84, of Fort Myers, Florida (formerly of Flint, Michigan) passed away from kidney failure complications on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at HopePace Care Center in Lehigh, Florida.

Son of Marley and Bernice Palmer-Beach, Richard was born in Flint, Michigan on September 11, 1935. He was a graduate of Flint Northern High School in 1953. Dick was a life-long builder and server of God. His career was focused on the commercial construction industry. After he retired, he continued in this trade by lending his skills to Faith Tabernacle Church in Burton, MI where he helped to build the church and served as an elder and member of the board.

Moving to Florida in 2002, Dick once again helped establish a site for a new church, Bridge Community Church, in Cape Coral, Florida. He remained active in his church leading a bible study class until his health declined and he was no longer able to do so at the age of 83.

Dick is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Shirley; three children Daelyn (Terry) Pierce, Dr. Richard (Kim) Palmer, Julie (Doug) Spiller; stepson Greg (Michelle) Frank; sister Janice Dally; 12 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many wonderful friends.

An online memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST. The family will be forwarding the Zoom information to family and friends. Everyone who knew Dick is welcome to attend. We ask you to share your fondest memories about Dick on his guestbook here at Mullins Memorial.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be provided to Bridge Community Church, 79 Midcape Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33991 or online donations can be made at:

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Gale Bardos Apr 24, 2020 at 10:19 am

    So sorry Julie, Doug and family. Praying for peace and comfort as you go thru this time.
    Gary and Gale Bardos

  2. Rick Hammond Apr 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Dick Palmer was a great Man and Father in Law to me but so much more and a good friend as well. He was a Man of values and common sense and a good Christian.He was very talented in the construction area and taught me lots about those things.I’ll never forget when He bought a house and was redoing the electric,I was there helping and all of a sudden He started to cut a live wire which we thought was turned off and what a jolt He took from that ha ha ! He will be missed !
    My condolences to Shirley and all the family,prayers for you all.

  3. Jim and Ruth Ann Webb Apr 24, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    So sorry for your loss family and our loss of a great friend. Dick was a great man of God and Jim and I had great times with him and Shirley throughout our years in Michigan and also was with them in Florida several times. Rest in the fact that he is not suffering any longer, he is completely healed and fellowshipping with our Lord and those that had gone on before him.

  4. Nick Spiller Apr 24, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Papa Palmer was a wonderful grandpa and teacher. Going to his home for Christmas Eve is one of my favorite childhood memories. He would point Santa out amongst the stars each time.

  5. Cyndi Raslich Apr 24, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Julie, I’m sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort and peace in this time of sorrow and loss.

  6. Don and Barb Evans Apr 24, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Don and I want to express our sincere sympathies to our dearest friend Shirley and the entire Palmer family. Dick was so proud of his family and we pray the comfort of the Holy Spirit over you. Dick and Shirley was so dear to us and we have so many memories to cherish. Dick is home now but we treasure his memory. Blessings

  7. Ginger Sudia Apr 24, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Sending all my love and prayers to you Daelyn, Rick, Julie and families. I’m so sorry for your great loss. May God comfort you and bring you peace. ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Meagan Pierce Swann Apr 25, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Grandpa Palmer was a wonderful man. He loved all of us grandchildren. He was so calm and we rarely would get in trouble when he was with us.
    He was a devoted Christian. I always looked up to him. A memory that I will cherish is him baptizing me when I was 15 years old.
    He will surely be missed, but the memories and guidance he gave will last a lifetime.

  9. Ryan Hammond Apr 25, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Sad to lose Grandpa Palmer. When my brother Jeff and I were very young, he would pick us up in his car and I remember him having one of the first car phones on the market. It was super expensive to make calls back then, but we were so fascinated by it he let us call our mom anyway. I remember thinking we were the coolest kids in the neighborhood. He got a lot of joy out of those moments. He will be missed.

  10. David Matejcek Apr 25, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I’ve known Dick a long time. He was a dear friend along with Shirley his wife. He was a great asset to my mom when constructing the present location of Faith Tabernacle in Burton Mi. Our prayers and peace go out to Shirley during this time of grief. May his children feel the peace of God now. God bless you all. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.

  11. Donna Matejcek Apr 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Met Dick and Shirley at Faith Tabernacle. Classy God loving couple, an anointed Elder who moved prophetically and helped in the building program. Shirley, a mighty prayer warrior.

    A short story About Dick:
    There were 5 of us traveling to a conference in Indiana with Berniece, our Pastor. Mind you, it was a blizzard and you could hardly see the road. Dick was the designated driver and proceeded to take us north toward Grand Rapids missing the South bound sign. We went a good 30 miles before anyone noticed. Needless to say we had a long snowy day. We found the humor and enjoyed laughter all the way in spite of the longer journey. We also had some great Euchre nights and Dick liked to WIN. You will surely be missed by friends and family, especially Your dear Shirley. Comfort and peace to the family. See you on the other side and we’ll clasp our hands together around the great white throne and join the angels singing at last, at last we’re home.

  12. Ron & Patti Schacher & Brooke Apr 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Today we are celebrating you Dick, and your Homegoing. I’ve known you for years and knew what a Man of Integrity you were; and the Love you had for God, Shirley and your children. Ron met you 4 years ago and immediately you guys fell in love with each other and became Greatest Buddies. These last 4 years with you and Shirley have been most wonderful, as we shared many dinners ands fun times playing cards… BUT the Greatest times were when we took Communion together, Worshipped the Lord and sang your Favorite old Hymns. your Heart was always so tender toward Father God, and as the tears came you brought us all into a Fullness of Time Moment Together with Our Lord. Now You are Celebrating in person with Jesus, and we’re Celebrating YOU. We Love YOU Dick and we’ll miss you Greatly.

  13. Michelle Frank Apr 25, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Dick was a wonderful man and a great grandpa to our children. He loved to laugh with them and knew how to relate on their level. His favorite topic was to talk about Jesus and teaching his Bible studies. We are so happy he’s in heaven now celebrating his healing.

  14. spm Apr 25, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    It’s been said: “Give me a man that’s a strong hearted man, and I’ll give you 10,000 more. Well, that’s what Dick did for the Kingdom of God. It’s with precious memories & a heavy heart that I can hear Dick say “take my hand precious Lord & lead me home. !

  15. Jeff Gardner Apr 25, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Wow! Dick & Shirley have been nothing short of a God-send in my life- what a blessed privilege to know them. These wonderful people became so close to my mom, my sister Brooke & myself. They were part of our church family but became family to us as they ministered to us with love & encouragement & agreed with my mom in prayer for our lives. One time when I was miserably sick in my teenage years, they came to our home & anointed me with oil & prayed over me & spoke the words of God with Jesus’ love & authority. I opened up in my spirit as I felt such peace. Soon the fever left, my throat was better & I was healed! Praise God. This exemplifies Dick and how special he & Shirley have been to me ever since. I am so glad my mom & stepdad Patti & Ron Schacher have had such wonderful times with you Shirley & Dick. We love and honor you both.

  16. Ben Spiller Apr 25, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Pappa Palmer was a very fun and loving grandfather. I will always remember sitting on his lap playing James Bond with him on his computer. He will be missed.

  17. Mitchell Pierce Apr 25, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Grandpa Palmer always carried a warm calm sense with him. I have many early memories of building and construction with him in mind. While myself and my older cousins, Jeff and Ryan Hammond, knocked down my parents ceiling he was there coaching us along. It had to have taken a week to clean up the debris from our mess. What I recall next is that Grandpa Palmer was out purchasing some additional supplies and he knocked out the back window in his Ford Ranger because he didn’t tie down the cargo well enough. Thinking about that always makes me smile. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

  18. Will Swann Apr 26, 2020 at 10:13 am

    My name is Will Swann. I am married to Meagan “Pierce” Swann. I want to share with you how I met Dick Palmer as well as some thoughts about him.

    Let’s flash back to the Summer of 2016. I had been dating Meagan for nearly a year. I had met her parents, Terry and Daelyn, on their trips to West Virginia to visit Meagan. However, I had not yet met any of Meagan’s extended family. In other words, I needed to MEET THE FAMILY.

    A fresh-faced Ben Spiller was graduating from high school that summer. Ben’s graduation party would provide the venue for me to MEET THE FAMILY.

    Meagan and I drove from the verdant hills of West Virginia to Michigan. I didn’t know what to expect. As a general proposition, I prefer people and places below the Mason Dixon line. That’s just me. In any event, I was welcomed by the Pierce family with open arms.

    We arrived pretty late at night so Dick and Shirley were already asleep. Daelyn made us some nachos after we watched the movie “Inside Out” with Mitch and Kristin’s youngest daughter, Leighelle. Tice was still an infant at this point, and Townsend had not yet graced us with his presence. Even early on, I could tell this was a close-knit group. The Pierces treated me like family from the moment I walked into their home.

    I went to bed content with a belly full of nachos.

    I woke up the next morning with a rather urgent need to use the bathroom. Like a ninja, I crept out of the bedroom and went to the bathroom in an effort to attract the least attention possible. I didn’t need any unwanted attention as I’m here to MEET THE FAMILY.

    I’m on the Pierce Throne enjoying a moment of serenity when there was a rap on the door. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK “Hello, anybody in there?” I could hear a quiet but firm voice ask from the other side.

    “Just a minute, please!” I blurted. Flustered, I tried to make the bathroom a little more palatable to the next user. I sprayed some Lysol, washed my hands, and quickly opened the door.

    Dick Palmer was standing right there, smiling in a resplendent red robe. “Hi, I’m Dick,” he said. In that moment, Dick was the very first member of Meagan’s extended family I met. We shook hands. I explained to Dick that my hands were a “clean wet” as I had just washed them. I tried to delay him from entering the bathroom to give the Lysol a little more time to work. He smiled at the joke about my “clean wet” hands. He said he was pleased to meet me, and that I must be a pretty good guy to be “getting serious” with Meagan. He said “I want to hear more about you over breakfast, and I know Shirley will too.” He was so gracious and so kind in that moment which was incredibly awkward for me. He walked into the bathroom. That was the first time I met Dick Palmer.

    Over the coming days I grew to know Dick and Shirley. Dick was a happy man. He was peaceful. He smiled often. Not big toothy attention-grabbing smiles, but smiles which tend to indicate the sort of man who’s content with where he is and what he’s done in life.

    I remain grateful for knowing Dick and I pray that Shirley finds peace. I pray for the whole Palmer family. Take Care and God Bless.

  19. Jeff Hammond Apr 26, 2020 at 11:18 am

    When my mom passed away Grandpa Palmer was there and exuded a peace that I have never seen before in such a situation. I attribute that to his faith in God. We will miss him.

  20. Jen Daig Apr 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers. Jen

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