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SD 146 adds beloved custodian to Wall of Fame

Updated: May 15, 2013 6:06AM



A recent Community Consolidated School District 146 Board meeting included a moment of silence.

Board members and visitors looked on as a plaque with a photo of beloved former employee Willie Palmer was added to the district’s Wall of Fame.

Palmer was employed at Central Middle School as a custodian from December 2002 until he retired from his full-time position in December 2005. He was working as a substitute custodian for the district at the time of his death in December 2011.

Palmer was honored for his dedication and loyalty to the job, students and district.

“He never had an unkind word for anyone, always cheerful and just happy to be alive. He was a man of true faith. He believed strongly in education, too. He pushed his family to strive for the highest that they could achieve in academics. I miss him dearly to this day,” curriculum director Nancy Schwab said.

At the time of his death, Palmer was doing what he did best — helping others. He saw that a neighbor was in need of snow removal assistance. Despite being in his mid-70s, Palmer immediately began shoveling the woman out when he suffered a fatal heart attack.

“Though so sad, his assisting others did not surprise me. That was our Willie. He was always there to help. He always put others before himself,” Schwab said.

District 146 Supt. Jeff Stawick had fond memories of Palmer.

“I was the assistant principal at Central Middle School and had the pleasure to work with Willie for one year,” Stawick said. “When I moved to my job as principal in District 153, and then became superintendent of the Steger School District 194, Willie came in to see me at both locations. He came for no other reason except to tell me congratulations and to see how I was doing. That was Willie. He genuinely cared about you. He remembered details that you told him, because he cared so much for people. He is so very deserving of this honor.”

Palmer’s dedication plaque was placed on the Wall of Honor alongside previous honorees Larry Anderson and Marion Hoyda.

Staff reports



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