Rev. Donald Lee Palmer


Rev. Donald Lee Palmer, age 88, a resident of Chillicothe, Missouri, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. 

Donald was born the son of Randolph and Ora Viola (O’Toole) Palmer on December 21, 1929, in Nevada, Missouri. He was a 1947 graduate of Rich Hill High School. After graduation, Donald worked as a telegrapher for Southern Pacific Railroad for 1 year. He served in the United States Navy from 1948 until 1949, and then from 1952 until 1954. From 1949 until 1952, he worked as a carpenter in Nevada, Missouri. Donald was united in marriage to Mary Lou Shade on January 11, 1952, in Nevada, Missouri. She preceded him in death on January 16, 2007. He attended Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, in 1954 and graduated in 1956. In 1956, he attended Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, graduating in 1957. Donald then attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, from 1957 until 1961. Donald served as the pastor at First Baptist Church, Anderson, Missouri, from 1961 until 1965. He then moved to Shelbina, Missouri, in 1965, where he served as the pastor for the First Baptist Church until 1967. Donald then moved to Chillicothe where he served as the pastor at the First Baptist Church for 28 years, from 1967 until 1996. In 1996, he moved to El Dorado Springs, Missouri, where he served as pastor at the Union Hall Baptist Church for 13 years, until 2008. In 2008, Donald made his final home in Chillicothe, serving as the pastor at the Chula Baptist Church. 

Survivors include one daughter, Rebecca McKim and husband Paul of Maryville, Missouri; three grandchildren, Joshua McKim and wife Angie of Maryville, Missouri, Daniel McKim and wife Natalie of Maryville, Missouri, and Ben McKim and wife Amanda of Clarinda, Iowa; 10 great-grandchildren; 2 foster great-grandchildren; one brother, Randy Palmer of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; and special friend, Johnna Sue Zachary of Chillicothe. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Lou; brother, Bill Palmer; and niece, Julie. 

Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Missouri, on Monday, December 3, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. There is no scheduled visitation. Friends may call at the Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Missouri, on Sunday, December 2, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Burial will be held at Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe. Memorial contributions may be made to the Donald Palmer Memorial Fund for Ministry and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, Missouri 64601. Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe.