Obituary: Elinore S. Palmer, 97, formerly of Wilton

Elinore S. Palmer, a former resident of Wilton and Easton, passed peacefully on December 18, 2017 at the age of 97.

Elinore, with her husband Gerry and two daughters, moved to Belden Hill in Wilton in 1952 and were quickly immersed in community activities at St. Matthew’s Parish, the Wilton Garden Club and the Wilton Playshop. “Ellie,” as her friends knew her, brought style and magic to almost everything she touched. She was a natural, and could execute the most amazing interior transitions; staging a garden wedding scene in a church hall, and as easily reversing the assignment by transforming a school auditorium into an ecumenical church altar.

An enthusiastic gardener, she never met a plant she didn’t want to save and was early to embrace organic gardening and land conservation, both movements heralded by the Wilton Garden Club. She served on numerous Garden Club committees, and continued in an advisory capacity after she resigned her position as Club President when she moved to Easton in 1965. In 1994 she was honored as a Life Member of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut and recognized again in 2005 for 50 years of service.

In Easton, Ellie continued her community involvement, serving as the Corresponding Secretary and a volunteer driver for the Easton Public Health and Nursing Association. The Palmer’s move to Easton fulfilled Ellie’s lifelong dream of “living on a farm.” She talked her husband Gerry into a house and barn on 35 acres on a high plateau of split-rail-framed meadows. You could see Long Island Sound from the second floor, but not another house in any direction. She filled the barn with horses and chickens, invited the neighboring farmer to graze his dairy cows, managed a small and highly productive orchard, took up apple cider making, raised over-sized organic vegetables and added a greenhouse to raise more exotic plant species. In the late 90’s she even hosted several polo matches on one of the fields.

A studio addition to the house allowed Ellie to try her hand, with equal success, at everything from water colors to clay, wood and marble sculpture and finally, arc-welding; a favorite. Her metal sculpture “Rooster” was exhibited in Massachusetts and later won first prize at the ’85 Wilton Arts Council Show. Always eager to try a new medium, Ellie was grateful for the mentoring of many local luminaries in the arts. She illustrated a children's book, staged award-winning flower shows, designed and painted sets for the Wilton Playshop, studied Landscape Design at the Univ of MA, flower arranging in Tokyo, and art at the Silvermine School.

Elinore was predeceased by her husband Girard L. Palmer. She is survived by two daughters, Marsha P. Gossard with her husband Arthur Gossard in Santa Barbara, CA, and Lynne P. Boyd in Avon, Connecticut, five grandchildren, G. Christopher Gossard of Ventura, CA, James F. Boyd of Norwell, MA, Sue Gossard of Greenbrae, CA, Emily B. Hanlon of New Canaan, CT, Matthew C. Boyd of San Francisco and eight great-grandchildren. She leaves many wonderful friends.

Burial arrangements for the family are being made by Bouton Funeral Home in Georgetown. A memorial service is planned for the spring.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make donations to The ALS Association in memory of her husband Gerry.