Westside resident turns 100
The Westside can boast a resident who's just reached the century mark.
Marshall Palmer, who remembers growing up riding horses and buggies in South Dakota, turned 100 Friday, Oct. 27.
A resident of the Village at Skyline retirement home for the past three years, Palmer said he was a groceryman most of his life, just like his father and grandfather before him. “The chain stores were coming in then, and they were pretty hard to buck,” Palmer recalled. “So I thought, why not join them?”
He worked for Red Owl stores at that time in Minneapolis, and he came to Colorado when the company transferred him here. He could not recall when that was, except that it was a long time ago.
(Asked about Red Owl, local historian Mel McFarland said it was “probably the second chain grocery store to come to Colorado Springs in the '20s or '30s. The first was Piggly Wiggly.”)
Palmer was married 67 years, with his wife passing on at age 91. He also has outlived his five sisters, and he remarked that he has no immediate family left. “I'm all alone,” he said.
Fortunately, he is still close to a sister-in-law, and she and her family members helped Palmer celebrate his milestone with a party the week before - timed ahead of the date because of people's work schedules. He didn't plan anything special on the day itself. “I already had a celebration,” he said, and firmly (but courteously) declined a Westside Pioneer offer to to take his photo.
Palmer, who still drives a car, has no idea why he has lived so long and stayed so healthy. “I don't think anybody who gets up there can tell you how he or she done it,” he commented. “I eat lunch with a guy who's 98, and one of his parents lived to 102. But both my parents died quite young.”
Some of his favorite memories are from his youth. In those days, he said, “People lived for one another. Everyone helped one another. They had to.”
Told that he seems a lot younger than 100, Palmer replied, “I feel like it. But I'm not.”
Westside Pioneer article