Cover photo for Rev. Sara Palmer's Obituary
Rev. Sara Palmer Profile Photo
1945 Rev. Sara 2023

Rev. Sara Palmer

July 18, 1945 — January 2, 2023


Rev. Sara Palmer, 77, of Chariton, Iowa passed away on January 2, 2023. Services will be Friday, January 6, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Chariton First Presbyterian Church. A luncheon will be held following the service for a time of fellowship.

Memorials may be made in Sara’s name to the Chariton Public Library or Heifer International –

Sara Speer Palmer was born July 18, 1945, daughter of Don and Alleta Faye (Ganoung) Speer in Covina, California. Waiting to greet her was her older brother, Richard, as well as grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Sara graduated from the Baldwin Park High School and later from Lewis and Clark College located in Portland, Oregon in 1967 with a B.A. in Theatre. Following a one-year break, Sara enrolled at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California, graduating with a Masters in 1971. After graduation, Sara spent two years as a pastoral intern in Hoquiam, Washington.

Retiring to southern California, Sara was a Christian Educator at Presbyterian Congregations in Azusa and San Gabriel. On March 28, 1976, Sara was ordained as a Minister in the United Presbyterian Church. She moved to Sioux City, Iowa in 1977 through 1980. She became Interim Pastor in Carroll then Rockwell City, Iowa. In September 1982, she became Pastor of Presbyterian Congregations in Chariton and Lucas, Iowa. She was moderator of Des Moines Presbytery in 1990.

On November 24, 1984, Sara married Charles (Jack) Palmer. Enjoying travel and the arts, together they built a house in 1991 located on “Poverty Ridge” in Lucas County. Returning in 2000, Sara expanded her gardens. After 2007, due to Jack’s decreasing health, they limited their travels. Jack died on April 21, 2010. Sara continued living in the country until her health mandated she move to Chariton, where she could enjoy her friends and various projects.

Sara was preceded in death by her parents, brother, and husband. Thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers, she continued with her many interests.

Sara is survived by Jack’s daughter, Kathy Betterton of Indianola, Iowa; son, the Rev. Marion Palmer and his wife, Betty of Big Sandy, TX; son-in-law, Robert Klassy of Madison, WI; his 6 grandchildren; and many cousins and friends. She will be remembered for her joy in the gifts of life, especially flowers and books.

The service will be livestreamed through the following link: 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Sara Palmer, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Rev. Sara Palmer, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, January 6, 2023

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church

737 Braden Ave, Chariton, IA 50049

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