Ken was born in Farmington, New Mexico to Harold and Geneva Goodman Palmer. He often shared his childhood memories of spending hours in the hills around his home in Bloomfield New Mexico finding arrowheads and pottery shards. Their family spent many weekends camping in the moun-tains in Southern Colorado. He enjoyed the outdoors and although he didn’t enjoy hunting after killing his first deer, he did love spending time in the mountains hiking, fly fishing and later in life, taking photos.
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Ken is the oldest of three boys in the Palmer family. All of the boys were involved in sports from the time they were old enough to walk and throw a ball. He was a natural athlete and excelled in all the high school sports and eventually led his high school football team to a state championship as their quarterback.
After graduation from Bloomfield High School, Ken attended Brigham Young University. He ma-jored in political science and philosophy with the idea of attending law school. But as he worked his way through college by managing a restaurant and later a copy center, he decided to get his master’s degree in business.
During his first year of the MBA program, he met Denise Stephenson. He always said that “she chased me until I caught her”. They dated for two years and after he graduated, they became en-gaged and were married on December 20th, 1975. They have loved their life together and shared many hobbies. They enjoyed traveling, golf, scuba diving and BYU sports. Ken enjoyed his time in the business world and worked for several companies in the manufacturing field. After a time as a management consultant for Touche Ross, he worked for Everest & Jennings, Paragon Precision Products and then for Stryker Corporation. These companies took the family to southern California, South Africa and Kalamazoo Michigan. After leaving Stryker, Ken helped start Magleby’s Fresh res-taurants in Utah and the family moved to Provo in 2000.
Ken was not raised in a home where the gospel was taught, but developed a strong testimony be-cause of his life experiences. He served in many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was most recently serving on the High Council of a Young Single Adult stake where he loved interacting with the young people there. When Ken was diagnosed with glioblastoma, his deep faith helped him to look forward to the adventure ahead in the next life. His biggest regret about dying was leaving Denise behind. He would often say he hated the word “widow”.
Ken and Denise are the parents of 6 children and 21 grandchildren. He dearly loved his family and would visit them as often as he had a chance. Even when he was not feeling well, he wanted to be with them. The children and their spouses are Jamie and Andy Marinos, Alisa and Matt Fogt, Bekah and Jim Blankinship, Brian and Colleen Palmer, Shalane and Dan Brower, and Jay and Megan Heath. He hopes that his greatest legacy to his family will be the way he faithfully endured to the end.
Funeral services for Ken will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, December 29th at the chapel located at 4220 Foothill Dr., Provo. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to the charity of your choice, or to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Ken’s memory.