George Richard Palm passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at LakeWood Care Center in Baudette, MN, at the age of 101. A service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Baudette, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Wabanica Lutheran Cemetery at a later date.
George was born on February 22, 1918 to John Rickard Palm and Ingeborg (Hovengen) Palm. Since he was born on George Washington’s birthday, his parents named him George; otherwise, his name was to be Arville. George always said that was his first lucky break.
He grew up in St. Cloud, MN, where he attended Tech High School, graduating in 1936 at the height of the Great Depression. With very few prospects for work near home, he hitchhiked west and over the next decade he worked a wide variety of jobs, finding work on a ranch in Montana, jobs in construction, and work in machine shops in the Los Angeles area during World War II. Along the way, he picked up three quarters of higher education at the University of Minnesota. He was able to use the math skills he learned there to help him become a tool and die maker, a job he loved for his entire life.
On a share-the-ride from Los Angeles back to Minnesota in 1943, he met Milo Krumwiede, who invited him to come to Baudette. While canoeing up Wabanica Creek, he found a piece of property overlooking the water, a place he fell in love with. He paid $ 2500 for 80 acres and a small cabin. He continued to commute between California and Minnesota, working in machine shops in California in the winter and spending summers in Baudette, growing potatoes on his land.
On September 3, 1955, he married Delores Olive Allen in St. Cloud. They raised three sons, Keith, Rick, and Brian. While living in Fridley, MN, George started his own tool and die machine shop, Palm Tool, which he sold in 1965, enabling the family to leave the big city. He built a new business and a home, on the banks of the Wabanica. What started as Wabanica Products grew into Wabanica, Inc, a business specializing in precision metal stampings, eventually moving to the old creamery building in Baudette. Over the next twenty years, the business grew to include sons Keith and Brian, and in 1986 and 1987, two new buildings housed “the shop,” the culmination of George’s working life.
After retiring in 1988, George and Delores enjoyed golfing, traveling, gardening, and working in the woods. George cut all of his own firewood until he was 92, when he and Delores moved to an apartment at NorthWood Commons in Baudette. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2015. Delores passed away in April of 2016, and in July of that year, George moved to his new home at LakeWood Care Center. He will be remembered for his resilience, his sense of humor and positive attitude, and for frequently reminding those around him that “every day is a gift.”
He is survived by his sons, Rick (Kristen) Palm, Brian (Joyce) Palm; daughter-in-law Shar Ray (Larry) Feickert; grandchildren, Krista Mortensen, Sarah Palm, Karl Palm, Bryce (Cori) Palm; sisters-in-law Lois Christopherson, Sherri Kimball, and Barb Palm, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Delores (Allen) Palm and son, Keith Allen Palm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Lake of the Woods Humane Society, the First Lutheran Church Garden of Grace, or the LakeWood Care Center Resident Council
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00 PM at First Lutheran Church in Baudette. Visitation will be one hour prior; with interment at Wabanica Cemetery. Online guest book at: www.helgesonfuneralhome.com