The McKendrean Magazine - Summer 2022

The Reverend Dr. Miley Palmer '58 | 1937-2022

Trustee Emeritus and Former Alumni Board President

Miley PalmerMiley passed away on Jan. 24, 2022. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from McKendree, a master’s degree in theology at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and a doctor of ministry degree at Christian Theological Seminary.

A long serving member of the McKendree Board of Trustees, from October 1997 to November 2021, he was named Trustee Emeritus in 2021. He received the Peter Akers Award in 2018 for professional success in recognition of his outstanding service and loyalty to his alma mater. He served as president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and was an Alumni Board member for 25 years. He was also a William McKendree Society member, Friend of the Hett and Bearcat Booster, who will be long remembered for his gracious demeanor and giving nature.

The first recipient of the Peter Cartwright Lifetime Evangelism Award from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church, he served United Methodist congregations in Central and Southern Illinois from 1955 until 2021, including nine years as a campus minister at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and six years as superintendent of Peoria District (93 total churches). After retiring, he also served as the full-time chaplain at Decatur Memorial Hospital for 20 years. He was honored by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Theta Phi Honors fraternity, and the IGRC. He helped guide Decatur’s Racial Taboo initiative and received the local NAACP chapter’s Joe Slaw Civil Rights Award. A Rotarian for 43 years, he held every local leadership role in the Rotary Club.

He is survived by his wife Janet; children Elizabeth, Mary, Michael and Patricia, four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.