WILMINGTON, MA — One of Wilmington’s finest was honored at this week’s Board of Selectmen Meeting.
Robert “Bob” Palmer, who recently completed his final term on the the Wilmington Finance Committee, was recognized for his contributions to the community and the country on Monday night.
Palmer began working for the Town of Wilmington in September of 1953 as a laborer with the Highway Department. He gradually rose through the ranks, from laborer to foreman to Superintendent of the Highway Department to Superintendent of the Department of Public Works. Prior to the creation of the Assistant Town Manager position, Palmer even served as Acting Town Manager during the Town Manager’s absence. Palmer also served as special Wilmington police officer from 1962 to 1979. He retired from employment with the town on February 6, 1998.
Palmer went on to serve on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen from 2001 to 2004. He was then appointed to the Wilmington Finance Committee in May 2005, to which he served until April 2017.
Palmer is a veteran of the U.S. Ary, serving from October 1954 until his honorable discharge on October 1956. He served overseas in the Korean Conflict for 18 months.
Board of Selectmen Chair Mike Champoux presented Palmer with the “key to the town,” as dozens of Palmer’s family members, including his wife Jane, proudly looked on from the audience.
“If anyone sees Mr. Palmer around town, they ought to extend a hand and thank him for his service to the town,” said Champoux. “Throughout his career, he consistently exempelifid professionalism & unwavering commitment to the community… He is a gentleman among gentlemen… He’s an example of how we should conduct our lives.”
“God bless you and your family,” said Selectman Ed Loud. “Thank you for your service to this country & community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
“Bob Palmer has done a fantastic job. He’s worn many hats,” said Selectman Mike McCoy, who recalled serving with Palmer as a Selectman. “I wish you all the best. You’re a gentleman.”
“Congratulations for 64 years of work and volunteering to this town, which you love. And we all love you,” said Selectman Kevin Caira. “The town is much better for having you in it and serving it in the capacities that you did.”
“As someone who grew up here while you were serving the town, I really appreciate what you did. It’s people like you that make Wilmington such a great community and such a great place to live,” said Selectman Greg Bendel. “You set the example for folks of what service really means — we all hope to live up to the bar you’ve set so high.”
Town Manager Jeff Hull offered a few comments, recounting Palmer’s guidance when Hull arrived to Town Hall in 1987 as a 27-year-old.
“Bob took me under his wing and [taught] me a bit about governing and how to operate as a public official,” said Hull. “I always considered him a mentor with a tremendous amount of wisdom… I consider him a friend.”
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