James was born on June 15, 1928, in Belton, Texas to Jim and Johnnie Palmer. When he was young James enjoyed playing on the banks of Owl Creek near Belton with his brother Joe. This was his family’s land on what is now part of Fort Hood.
James joined the US Marine Crop in 1946, and was an infantry rifleman, during WWII. After his discharge in 1948, James headed back to Texas and began his career in the oilfield. This brought him to Ballinger where he met a beautiful girl, Martha Dean. During this time he also considered attending Western New Mexico University where he was offered a football scholarship. Even though he was an avid sports enthusiast, college was not for him, and he returned back to Ballinger a week later to marry the love of his life. James and Martha were married on December 23, 1950. They were married just shy of 69 years.
During his working life, James wore many hats. He owned and operated Ballinger Café for several years. He worked on everything from pulling units and drilling rigs to TV’s and VCR’s. He also spent several years driving oil trucks for Scurlock Permian where he drove many hours due to lack of driver logbooks.
James had several hobbies, one being gardening; he enjoyed growing watermelons and Israllie cantaloupe. He also enjoyed cooking and baking. It was just this Thanksgiving that he passed down his favorite pineapple pie recipe to Liz
Everything James did he did to the fullest and that included his family life, beginning with his only son Herby. Even though he worked long hours driving a truck during his downtime he would go help Herby haul hay. He took all the time he could to spend time with his son and eventually his grandchildren. He did his best to teach them everything he thought they needed to know about life.
James was a mountain of a man and will be greatly missed by those who were close to him.
James is survived by son Herb and wife Debbie Palmer, grandson JH and wife Liz Palmer, his great-grandchildren who he enjoyed immensely and took great pride in everything they did Kynlee Bostyn, Lincoln Cash, and Hendryx Jaymes Palmer all of Ballinger, along with his sister Virginia Berry of Belton, Texas. He also leaves his special friends Minnie Cortez, Gene Davis, and Ramon Mota.
James is preceded in death by his wife Martha, granddaughter Jamie Sue. His sister Juanita Patton, and brother Joe Palmer.
We will have a Celebration of Life Picnic for James on June 12, 2021, at the family farm picnic grounds. This was his favorite place and one of the many things that he truly enjoyed.