Brookings: Susan W. Hardin Palmer, 76, of Brookings passed away Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013, at GracePoint Wesleyan Church in Brookings. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Rude's Funeral Home in Brookings.
Susan Marie Walker was born on Oct. 25, 1936, in Brookings, the daughter of Kenneth and Anne (Dempster) Walker. She attended school in Brookings and graduated from Brookings High School in 1954. She attended South Dakota State University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1958. She was the Public Health Nurse in Meade County and served as camp nurse at Ghost Canyon Ranch in Hermosa.
She was united in marriage to William Joseph Whistler Hardin on Oct. 14, 1961. To this union, they were blessed with four children: Michele, William, Joseph and Margaret. The couple moved to Brookings, and she became an instructor of nursing at SDSU. When William completed pharmacy school, they purchased their own pharmacy in Wisconsin. The family moved to Beatrice, Neb., after losing their pharmacy to a fire. She took the position of assistant director of nursing services at Mennonite Deaconess Home and Hospital. In March 1972, William passed away unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism.
In July 1975, Susan accepted the position of assistant professor of nursing at SDSU. She completed her masters in nursing in 1976, from the University of Nebraska. She was promoted to associate professor and department head of nursing in 1977, where she worked in the program until retirement in 1992. She was instrumental in starting the masters of nursing program at SDSU. She met Ivan Palmer on a university committee and they were married on May 19, 1984, in Brookings bringing his children, Jannelle, Craig and Bruce into the blended family. From 1992 to 2001, Susan served as the director of the nursing program at Sisseton Wapheton Community College. It was a very rewarding finish to her long and caring career. In her retirement, she enjoyed many happy times entertaining family and friends at their Lake Poinsett cabin.
She was an avid reader, reading anything she could get her hands on, was known as the Book Grandma. She volunteered her time reading to second grade classes in Brookings. She enjoyed traveling and spending her summers at Lake Poinsett. She attended her grandchildren's activities. She was a huge Jackrabbit fan, following many of their athletics and provided First Aid to fans for 27 years. She attended the Brookings Wesleyan Church. She was a Member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Nursing Association, the South Dakota Nursing Association and an honorary member of the Sisseton Wapheton Sioux Tribe.
Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Ivan Palmer, of Brookings; her children: Michele Hardin of Spearfish, Bill (Christie) Hardin of Brookings, Joe (Dawn) Hardin of Brookings and Maggie (Carroll) Stewart of Brookings; two stepchildren: Jannelle (Jerome) Fulsaas of Decorah, Iowa, and Bruce (Karla) Palmer of Heartland, Minn.; stepdaughter-in-law, Kay Palmer of Cushing, Okla; 18 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; and one aunt, Alice Dempster of Brookings.
She is preceded in death by her parents; first husband, William; and her stepson, Craig Palmer.
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