, Salem, MA

April 17, 2014

Irene W. Palmer, 97

Salem — Irene Wood Palmer, 97, passed away on Sunday evening with family at her side at the John Bertram House in Salem. She was the wife of the late Richard Palmer, Esq. They shared more than fifty happy years together until his death in 1995.

Born in Fitchburg, MA, Irene was the daughter of the late Charles and Erin (McCann) Wood. Irene was a resident of Fitchburg, MA, before moving to Salem eight years ago. She was a graduate of Fitchburg High School, Class of 1934, and continued her education at Northeastern University where she was courted by her future husband. Being newlyweds at the end of WWII, they traveled and enjoyed each other’s company for several years before starting a family. Along with being a loving mother and wife, Irene was a skilled musician. Since a young age, she played the organ and piano, entertaining friends throughout the years and playing regularly at the Bertram House until very recently. She loved to entertain and was a great hostess. She had a wonderful sense of humor and shared her talents of music, crafts, and cooking with her friends and family.

For 30 years, Irene volunteered in the library at the former Burbank Hospital and organized the book booth for the annual Hospital Fair. She enjoyed gardening, and for many years shared a large vegetable garden with her dear friend, Marion Marshall. With her children grown, Irene returned to school and secured a brokers license in real estate. After her husband’s death, Irene took computer classes and enjoyed traveling throughout New England, California and Hawaii.

She is survived by a daughter, Christine Palmer of Salem; a son, Evan Palmer and his wife, Luanne, of San Rafael, CA; and two grandchildren, Logan and Christina. Irene was predeceased by her only sibling, Rita McKeon, in May 2013.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to a Funeral Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorne Blvd., Salem, on Monday at 11 a.m. She will be buried with her husband at Bourne National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to John Bertram House, 29 Washington Sq., Salem, MA 01970. To sign the online guest book, please visit