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In Memoriam – Dr. Edward Leo Palmer

by | Feb 20, 2023

Dr. Ed Palmer passed away in Dec. 2022 – his Memorial Service will be this Saturday, February 25 at Davidson College Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Ed Palmer

Edward Leo Palmer
August 11, 1938 – December 16, 2022

Greenville, North Carolina – Dr. Edward Leo Palmer, 84, of Davidson NC, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 16, 2022 at the Inpatient Hospice House in Greenville, NC. Ed was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on August 11, 1938 to Ralph Leon Palmer and Eva Irene Brandenburg Palmer. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorotha, and his brother, William. Ed graduated from Hagerstown High School, then attending Gettysburg College and later Ohio University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Ed joined the Psychology department at Davidson College in 1970, serving as a professor for 41 years and as department chair for 16 years. Ed’s research focused on the influence of televisual media on children. As department chair, he facilitated the construction of the Watson Life Sciences building and he instilled an enduring culture of collegiality and excellence. Ed retired in 2011 as the Wayne M. and Carolyn A. Watson Professor of Psychology and Chair Emeritus.

Ed touched countless lives throughout his 84 years. He was a gifted writer, often gracing others with his poetic and musical talents. He enjoyed recording his compositions and lending his vocal talents to local choral groups, including The Four Coursemen at Davidson College and the choir at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Mooresville. As a nature lover, Ed was an avid birdwatcher and hiker. He is survived by his son Ed, and grandchildren Boomer (15) and Shay (11) of Savannah, GA; his daughter Jennifer (Mark) Bowler, and grandsons Mason (14), Mitchell (12), and Marshall (9) of Greenville, NC; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service to honor Ed’s life will be held at Davidson College Presbyterian Church February 25th at 1:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Congregation House. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Oakwood School (, where three of his grandchildren attend, or to the American Bird Conservancy (
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