Biographical Sketch


William Palmer

In Hicksville High Also Known As (AKA): Bill

Spouse/Partner…Carolyn Warfield Palmer

Were you classmates at HHS? No

Where did you meet? How long ago? We met in 1966 while I and college classmates joined with her young adult Sunday school class to offer a vacation Bible school-type program to children in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore.

Married How Long? Date Married: We were married June 8, 1968, and will celebrate 46 years in 2014.

Children/Grandchildren: Two daughters: Ruth Palmer Henry and Genevieve Palmer Gwiazda. Four grandchildren: Ruth and Brian’s Corey (6) and Sabrina (3); Gen and Joe’s Alex (8) and Zack (5).

Where do you currently live?: West Point, Virginia

Favorite Subject in High School: English and History

Name of my Favorite Teacher: Mr. Danna and Mr. Jones

Favorite Place to meet Friends Outside of School: Wetson’s and the Sweet Shoppe

Favorite Non-Academic School Club or Activity: Yearbook

Occupation/Trade/Profession: Retired (?) clergyman

Education Beyond High School: Lincoln Christian University and Seminary, Long Island University (graduate dept.—Greenvale campus), Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan .

Military Service: N/A

Hobbies/Pastimes: Chaplain of West Point Volunteer Fire Dept., Publications Chairman of Historical Society of West Point, Treasurer of the Good Neighbor Center (a local ecumenical social services agency), bicycling and kayaking.

One thing that no one knows about me is: I have written two books and published numerous magazine and journal articles. A third book and new article are currently in the works.

Now the hard one. Tell us what we need to know…50 years in the space below:

I ministered to five small congregations—one on Long Island, two in the Washington, DC, area, and two in Tidewater Virginia. Because the salaries usually matched the size of the churches I served, I spent more than 30 years as a “bivocational” minister. During that period I worked as a landscaper, plumber’s helper, laborer for a bricklayer, substitute schoolteacher, private tutor, proofreader, copy editor, production editor, adjunct instructor at the College of Southern Maryland (English composition, developmental English, business and technical writing, speech), and interim executive director of the grantee agency that administered Head Start in seven Virginia counties. My wife, a retired elementary schoolteacher, and I are proud of the role we have played as parents. After my wife’s sister and her husband were tragically killed in 1987, we became guardians of their only child, our niece Lynda. Our daughter Ruth is a commercial real estate consultant, Gen a development associate for the Living Classrooms Foundation, and Lynda a registered nurse. We have been richly blessed and are keeping busy in retirement with family and community activities as well as travel. I have visited 41 states and nine foreign countries, including service in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake there.

Finally, if you had to do it all over again, I would…make many of the same mistakes and probably a whole bunch of new ones. I would worry less, trust more and, I hope, come to this place once again with the satisfaction and joy that I have today.