OBITUARY: Arleen Morris Palmer


Arleen Morris Palmer, 99, formally of Norwich, NY, and Gouverneur NY, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 22, 2023, at her home surrounded by loving family.

She was born in Gouverneur, NY on September 18, 1923, the daughter of Francis and Pearl (Fleming) Morris.

She attended Gouverneur schools and graduated Valedictorian – class of 1942. Following graduation, she was inducted into the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps of WWII, chosen for her excellent scholarship.

She completed her RN training at St. Luke’s hospital, NYC in 1945. Upon returning to Gouverneur, Arleen began her nursing career working for Dr. Harry Mills that continued for 18 years. She even made “house calls.” She also worked as a school nurse in Gouverneur and Norwich respectively for several years.

She was well loved by the students for whom she cared. Spanning her 40-year nursing career she also furthered her education, achieving a bachelor’s degree as school nurse teacher.

Arleen enjoyed knitting, crocheting, reading, dabbling in poetry, “puttering around the house,” chatting with friends, and beating people at “Words with Friends.” She loved to hear about her grandchildren and delighted in their many photos and visits.

Some knew her as “Grandma Goose” because she once tended to a flock of wild geese at the Plymouth Reservoir camp. Arleen was known and loved for her quick wit, feistiness, and sense of humor. Her beautifully flowing cursive handwriting made a “statement.”

She loved to gift people with little items she thought characterized them, would amuse them, or would remind them of her. She will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Arleen married Robert L. Palmer on June 26, 1967, who died March 17, 2006. She was also predeceased by her son Terry R. Caswell, her parents Francis and Pearl Morris, her brother Kenneth Morris, her sister Marjorie Smith, her brother-in-law LeRoy Smith, her first husband George R. Caswell, Jr., two infant children, Trudy and Robin Caswell, niece Corleen Rinne, great-grandchildren Breanna Christian and Jordan Christian, stepsons Gary Palmer and Kevin Palmer.

Surviving family members include daughters, Tamara Caswell Lowe (Kevin) White River Junction, VT, and Shelley Caswell Moore (Tim) Mt. Juliet, TN; daughter-in-law Sue Caswell Waddington, NY; stepchildren Lonnie Palmer (Sheila Jelonek) FL, Robert Palmer (Theresa) VA, Kathy Palmer Ordonez, FL; niece Laurel Smith McQueen (John) FL. Special friends include Margaret Mills, Bonnie Graves, Carolyn Duffy, and Lou Ann Delrose. For the past 12 years, Arleen has had her loyal polydactyl orange tabby cat, Toesy, by her side.

Grandchildren are Tina Caswell Johnson (Dan), Trudy Caswell Ryan (Robert), Shawn Aikins (Alison), Robin Christian (Doug Wheeler), Troy Caswell, Julie Lowe Gallant (Jason), Todd Moore (Courtney), Chad Moore (Lindsay), Kristi Moore Reis (Andrew), and step-grandchildren Jason Lowe, Jason Palmer, David Palmer (Marcy), Sarah Palmer Siedlik (Jacob), Michelle Palmer Weyland (Greg), Charlene Palmer, Jeffrey Palmer, and Will Palmer.

Also surviving are 31 great-grandchildren: Nicholas, Eric, Alyssa, Jennifer, Garrett, Madison, Kayla, Parker, Aspen, Mason, Kiefer, Tucker, Ascher, Cade, Rosalie, Aubree, Abigail, Chase, Bennett, Shepard, Jonathan, Tobias, Amelia, Samuel, Luke, Ava, Declan, Madeline, Laura, Mary, and Wyatt; 1 great great grandchild (Henley); and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours; a graveside service will be held on July 22, 2023 at 12 noon, Riverside Cemetery in Gouverneur, NY.

Memorial contributions can be made to a charity of one’s choice or to any animal shelter in need. She was an “animal whisperer.”

The family extends much gratitude to the caregivers and staff at Carrick Glen Senior Living Facility.

Sellars Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of Mrs. Palmer. Phone: 615-758-5459, obituary line 615-758-8818,


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