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Ansell W. Palmer

September 14, 1919 – March 1, 2011

Hampton Union, Friday, March 4, 2011

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Ansell Palmer

HAMPTON — Ansell W. Palmer, 91, of Hampton, died Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at Oceanside Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation after a period of failing health.

He was born in Exeter, September 14, 1919, the son of the late Charles D. and Bernice (Glidden) Palmer. He lived all his life, with only brief interruptions, on land given by King’s Grant to his direct ancestor, a founding father of Hampton, when the town was being settled in 1638.

Mr. Palmer attended Hampton schools graduating from Hampton Academy with the Class of 1937. At the age of 22, he enlisted with the US Navy eight months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, knowing he would better fulfill his duty to his country in the armed service than in the defense industry at Pratt & Whitney. He was sent to Hawaii as a member of an aircraft service unit where he spent the war years. Planes participating in the battles of Iwo Jima, the Marshall Islands and Okinawa originated from the base at Hilo, Hawaii, where he was stationed.

After serving his country, Mr. Palmer returned to Hampton and graduated cum laude in 1950 from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in mechanical engineering.

His professional life was with General Electric, in Lynn, Mass., Somersworth, and Schenectady, N.Y., as a design and mechanical engineer. For more than 20 years his career focused on the development of electrical energy measuring equipment, and reflecting his successes, he registered over 25 U.S. Patents for General Electric. He retired in 1982 with nearly 30 years of service. After his retirement, he continued with GE for several years as a consultant.

Mr. Palmer served in a variety of Town of Hampton government roles. He was a selectman from 1985-1989, serving as vice chairman from 1987-89. He served on the Budget Committee, the Southeast Regional Solid Waste District, was a committee member of the Hampton 325th Celebration and the 350th Celebration. He served on the Old Home Day committee in 1962, and in 1999 he chaired the committee publishing the book Piscataqua Pioneers.

He was a member and former warden of the First Congregational Church; a member of Hampton’s American Legion Post 35; Star in the East Lodge #59 of Exeter; Society of Colonial Wars; past president of the Hampton Historical Society; and member of the preservation committee of the James House.

He was very active in the New Hampshire S.P.C.A. He was the first scout to join Boy Scout Troop 177 started in Hampton in 1933, and in his earlier years, he excelled in baseball and enjoyed downhill skiing, hockey, badminton, and tennis.

He shared 56 years of marriage with his wife, Irene (Craven) Palmer of Hampton.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Palmer leaves his daughter, Carol I. Palmer, and his granddaughter, Lavinia M. Palmer, both of Washington, D.C.; two nieces and two nephews.

He was predeceased by his sister, Rita P. James.

Services will be held at Saturday, March 19, 2011, at 11 a.m., in the First Congregational Church of Hampton. Friends are respectfully invited.

The family suggests donations to the First Congregational Church, 127 Winnacunnet Road, Hampton, NH 03842, or to the Hampton Historical Society, P.O. Box 1601, Hampton, NH 03843.

Arrangements are by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton.

Tribute to a True Gentleman

Written by Betty Moore,

Executive Director, Tuck Memorial Museum

“Gatherings from the Green” — March 2011

On March 1, 2011 Hampton lost a valuable citizen. Ansell W. Palmer, who was active in so many community organizations and activities, passed away.

A proud advocate of Hampton, Ansell lived most of his 91 years on King’s Grant land that his family had owned since 1639. He attended local schools and after serving in Hawaii in World War II, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire. For over 30 years he worked for General Electric as an engineer, where he registered over 25 patents while developing electrical measuring equipment. He was married to his wife Irene (Craven) Palmer for over 56 years.

Ansell was an ardent supporter of the Hampton Historical Society, serving on the board for many years and as President from 1991-1993. During his presidency, he pushed the Society into the modern era – an archivist was hired to begin the cataloguing process, the newsletter “Gatherings from the Green” was established, and an endowment fund through the Greater Piscataqua Community Foundation was started.

Ansell loved his town, serving as selectman from 1985-1988. He also served on the Budget Committee and Southeast Regional Solid Waste committee. In other community activities he had been a warden of the First Congregational Church, a member of the American Legion Post 35, and was active in the NHSPCA. He also was one of the original boy scouts in Troop 177 in February 1933.

Pursuing his interest in local history, he worked on community celebrations like the 325th and 350 town anniversaries and Old Home Days. He chaired a committee publishing the book Piscataqua Pioneers. Through his work with historic preservation, the James House and Blake cooper shop now on Barbour Road were saved.

Ansell had a quick smile and even quicker wit. For almost 20 years he volunteered at the museum’s weekly work parties. He would grab a cup of coffee, share what was going on – could be a bit of local news, but usually it was about his daughter Carol, or more recently his granddaughter Lavinia, both of whom he was extremely proud.

Up until the last few years Ansell’s energy seemed to be limitless. We could hardly keep up with him mentally or physically and behind his back I referred to Ansell as the “energizer bunny” – in his 80s he could still jump over the side of his pick-up truck, putting most of us to shame.

Ansell worked to create a better community for us to live and prosper, and for that I am extremely grateful!

Click on this link: Page 732: Ansell Palmer and sister, Rita, in “The Comet,” a Model T-Ford racer built by Palmer, ca. 1935. Photo Courtesy Ansell Palmer.

End of an Era

Ansell W. Palmer

By Douglas Aykroyd, Scoutmaster

In the photo, are the following scouts: Roland Janvrin, Ashton J. Norton, Richard Rice, Richard Palmer, Abbott Young, Alvin Nudd, Maurice Kierstead, Arnold B. Palmer, Ansell W. Palmer, Lee Hamilton, James A. Brodie, William F. Pierce, Malcolm O. Carlson & Richard Brown (not in new troop). Also in photograph is Robert Ford who took the photo, his wife, Enid (Wyman) Ford with the Baptist Minister on left.

On the 1st of March 2011, Ansell Palmer passed away after a long illness. He was the last known survivor of a special group of Hampton men and youth who got together in February of 1933 to begin Boy Scout Troop 177. The group was led by Committee Chairman Harley R. Nelson, the pastor of the First Baptist Church, who had previously been the Scoutmaster of Troop 6 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The First Baptist Church was the chartering organization. Assisting him in this effort was Scoutmaster Robert M. Ford who had earned his Eagle award two years earlier in Newbury, Massachusetts. In addition to the adults on the request for charter, there were 11 new Scouts: James A. Brodie, Thomas E. Clay, Malcolm O. Carlson, Ashton J. Norton, George R. Janvrin, Kenneth Meader, Kendall Sprague, Arthur L. Roy, Arnold B. Palmer, Ansell W. Palmer, and William F. Pierce. They began as Tenderfoot in February, but by the end of April, over half had earned Second Class. Over two thirds were First Class by the end of September. Scout Ansell Palmer maintained this accelerated advancement pace.

Ansell left Hampton to serve his country in the Navy in World War II and went on from there to the University of New Hampshire. Following graduation he worked for 30 years for General Electric as an engineer. Once he retired he had much more time to give back to his home town He served as a selectman from 1985 to 1988 and was president of the Hampton Historical Society from 1991 to 1993. He led the effort to save the James House, volunteered at the SPCA, served as a warden for the First Congregational Church, and worked on community celebrations like the 325th and 350th town anniversaries and Old Home Days.

As active as he was, he always held a special place for Troop 177, frequently attending courts of honor to celebrate the accomplishments of the troop and its Scouts. On the street, in the store, or at church he was always happy to offer his left hand to extend the special greeting shared by Scouts around the world.

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