O’Lena Mae Palmer

August 18, 1936–May 1, 2019

O’Lena Mae Palmer, age 82, Joplin, passed away on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at her son’s home after a lengthy illness.

O’Lena was born August 18, 1936 in Muggy Bottom, Oklahoma, daughter of the late Ivy Gant and Rosa Lee Brooks Gant. She attended Lincoln High School, and was a member of the Joplin Blue Jeans Fast Pitch Softball Team that participated in the Women’s Negro Softball League. She was an active member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, and enjoyed performing at the Joplin Little Theatre. She worked for over 15 years with the Joplin RVIII School District in several capacities.

In addition to her parents, O’Lena was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Fred W. Palmer, Sr. who passed away on January 26, 2017; son, Bruce Palmer, step father, Mack Davis; sister, Carrie McCollough, ; niece, Rosetta McCollough; brother, Isaiah Gant; grandson, Raymond Cline.

Survivors include her sons, Chris A. Palmer and wife Deborah of Merino Valley, California, Fred W. Palmer, Jr. and Stacy of Joplin; daughters, Sarah M. Pates of Dallas, Texas, Carlos A. McClain of Raytown, Missouri, and Mona Lisa Perez of Joplin; 12 grandchildren, Demetrius, Garee, Breanda “Brandy”, Jeremiah, Kelly, Cierra, Chadne, Bruce, Haiden, Jordan, Judge, Sidnee; 17 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in Parker Mortuary Chapel with Pastors Samuel Nero, Jr. and Willie Rogers officiating. Interment will follow in Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery with Garee Palmer, Demetrius Palmer, Bruce Palmer, Demetrius Palmer, Jr., Jordan Chandler, Jeremiah Griffin serving as pallbearers.

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