- Rowena Mae Palmer, 84, of Norway, died peacefully March 26th 2017, at her home surrounded by her children and their spouses: Cheryl Wixson and husband Phillip McFarland, of Stonington, ME; Jennifer Wixson and husband Stanley Luce, of Troy, ME; William Wixson and wife, Robin Wixson, of Belmont, NH; Wesley Wixson and wife, Lori Wixson, of Bow, NH.
"Grammie Ro", born Nov. 29, 1932, to Winona Young of Norway and William Palmer of Whitneyville, was raised on the family homestead in Norway, then Young's Turkey Farm. Educated in the Norway schools, she attended the University of Maine, where she made many new—and life-long—friends and studied to become a Licensed Medical Technician. While at Orono, Rowena met and married Eldwin A. Wixson, Jr., a dairy farmer from Winslow, with whom she had her four children.
The family transitioned from farming to a career in academia, eventually settling in Plymouth, NH, in 1966. In New Hampshire, Rowena was a tireless volunteer at college events and in the greater Plymouth community. A life-long learner and avid reader, she was active at the Plymouth Memorial Library, completed her B.S. at Plymouth State College, and became a licensed real estate broker, taking pride in being known as an honest and straight-shooting realtor. In 1987, Rowena was hired as the Town of Norway Maine's Tax Assessor. Serving in that position for ten years until her retirement she was possibly the only tax assessor that people actually liked to see coming up the driveway!
Active in the community during her retirement, Rowena's proudest achievement was raising one million dollars for the Norway Memorial Library's expansion project. A retired board member of the First Universalist-Unitarian Church of Norway, she joyfully sang in the choir under the direction of her good friend Heather Pierson. Rowena volunteered at the library and the Norway Center for Health & Rehab, where she visited with and brought donuts to residents. During her well-lived life, Rowena was a fountain of love, strength, and joy for all who came into contact with her. A role model for her children and grandchildren, Rowena touched the lives of countless numbers of people during her long life. She will be missed by many.
Rowena was predeceased by her parents and by her beloved brother Kurt Palmer. She is survived by her four children, nine grandchildren, her beloved sister Paula Johnson and husband Robert Bruce Johnson of Tyrone, GA; her dear sister-in-law Joyce Palmer of Norway; her sister-in-law Faith Varney and husband Erlon Varney of Falmouth, ME; her sister-in-law Sharon Clark and husband Glenn Gruber of Pasadena, CA; her cousin Norman Young of Hudson, NH, special friend Leland Millet; and many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews, as well as many special new and life-long friends. Online condolences may be shared with her family at www.oxfordhillsfuneralservices.com
Calling hours will be held Friday, March 31st 2017, from 5-7 p.m. at Oxford Hills Funeral Services, 1037 Main St., Oxford. A service of joy and thanks for the life of Rowena Mae Palmer will be held Sat., April 1st 2017, at 1:30 p.m. at the First Universalist-Unitarian Church of Norway. A private graveside service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Rowena's memory should be sent to the Norway Memorial Library, 258 Main St., Norway, ME 04268, or to the First Universalist-Unitarian Church, 479 Main St., Norway, ME 04268.
Published on  March 30, 2017