Carolyn Palmer with her sisters
Caroline Palmer

Carol Palmer: Local Teacher Leaves Sizeable Bequest to Support the Community

Caroline Palmer, known to her many relatives as Aunt Carol, made everyone feel special and worthy of her attention. Whether it was a family member, one of her second grade students, or a friend from church, Carol was considered a person you could count on for honesty, patience and respect.

“She felt like a mom to me and I feel that she considered me as a daughter,” Pat Shute, Carol’s niece, recalled. “She didn’t have children of her own but she was supportive and she treated each person as they were. They were special to her.”

Carol grew up with seven sisters and two brothers during the Great Depression. The family was hit hard from the economic downfall, and her nephews attributed her giving nature to that early experience.

“Being shaped by her own impoverished childhood made her want to help others, especially those affected by poverty,” said her nephew, Mike Shute.

Carol attended Syracuse University followed by Hartford Seminary, and then began her life of service as the director of Christian education at a church in Connecticut. Later, she attended SUNY Cortland where she received her master’s degree in education. She also met and married Emiel Palmer, who worked for 39 years at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He loved folk arts and charitable giving as much as Carol did.

Giving was central to Carol’s life. “It was really her way of fulfilling her Christian doctrine,” said Mike. In addition to helping her family and the Plymouth Congregational Church, Carol also supported the Southern Poverty Law Center, Berea College, the Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.

Emiel, who passed away in 2002, and Carol worked their whole lives to accumulate their wealth. Their bequest, which formed the Carol W. & Emiel D. Palmer Fund at the Community Foundation, totaled nearly $300,000.

Tom Griffith, vice president of development at the Community Foundation, said Carol was drawn to establishing an endowed community fund for its longevity.

“Part of our mission is to celebrate the legacy of people like Carol who care about Central New York,” he said. “We are honored that she chose to work with us in this way and look forward to stewarding her fund and her story for decades to come.”

Tom added how her legacy will carry on: “Now, Carol’s ability to make each person feel special will reach beyond her imagination as her generous spirit will live on through her fund, supporting generations of Central New Yorkers.”

Related Stories

Woman holds baby up in the air
News Releases November 21, 2021

Community Foundation Receives Funding to Connect Residents to Expanded Tax Credits

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit help families with necessary expenses like ...

Blogs November 18, 2021

‘Popping The Question’ About Charitable Giving: Madelyn H. Hornstein

Hear from Madelyn H. Hornstein, CEO, Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC, on how she ...

Steve and Elaine Jacobs stand in front of the CNY Philanthropy Center.
Stories November 15, 2021

Steve and Elaine Jacobs: Giving from the Heart

“I realized that the people in this community were the same people who helped me ...

Family members prepare food around a kitchen counter
News Releases November 6, 2021

Grant Assessing Lead Poisoning Solutions with Residents

Two groups will partner to lead ‘Kitchen Table Talks’ with families who have been identified ...

News Releases October 27, 2021

Community Foundation Announces New Black Equity & Excellence Fund Advisory Council Members

The Community Foundation launched the Black Equity & Excellence Fund in June of 2020 to ...

Blogs October 26, 2021

Reflections: Using Data to Improve Equity

Frank Ridzi, vice president, community investment, reflects on how nonprofits can measure how effectively their ...

Stories October 19, 2021

DAN FISHER: EVER-EVOLVING

Since completing his 35-year career at Welch Allyn, he has dedicated his time and resources ...

Stories October 19, 2021

Brady Market: Building Hope and Sustainability (through an Agency Fund)

“Day one you come in and you are paid even for your work on your ...

Group of individuals standing together
News Releases September 30, 2021

$248,000 in Grants Distributed to Black-Led Organizations to Support Black Business, Youth and Building Generational Wealth

The Community Foundation recently distributed a new round of grants from its Black Equity & ...

Woman holds baby up in the air
News Releases November 21, 2021

Community Foundation Receives Funding to Connect Residents to Expanded Tax Credits

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit help families with necessary expenses like ...

Blogs November 18, 2021

‘Popping The Question’ About Charitable Giving: Madelyn H. Hornstein

Hear from Madelyn H. Hornstein, CEO, Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC, on how she ...

Steve and Elaine Jacobs stand in front of the CNY Philanthropy Center.
Stories November 15, 2021

Steve and Elaine Jacobs: Giving from the Heart

“I realized that the people in this community were the same people who helped me ...

Family members prepare food around a kitchen counter
News Releases November 6, 2021

Grant Assessing Lead Poisoning Solutions with Residents

Two groups will partner to lead ‘Kitchen Table Talks’ with families who have been identified ...

News Releases October 27, 2021

Community Foundation Announces New Black Equity & Excellence Fund Advisory Council Members

The Community Foundation launched the Black Equity & Excellence Fund in June of 2020 to ...

Blogs October 26, 2021

Reflections: Using Data to Improve Equity

Frank Ridzi, vice president, community investment, reflects on how nonprofits can measure how effectively their ...

Stories October 19, 2021

DAN FISHER: EVER-EVOLVING

Since completing his 35-year career at Welch Allyn, he has dedicated his time and resources ...

Stories October 19, 2021

Brady Market: Building Hope and Sustainability (through an Agency Fund)

“Day one you come in and you are paid even for your work on your ...

Group of individuals standing together
News Releases September 30, 2021

$248,000 in Grants Distributed to Black-Led Organizations to Support Black Business, Youth and Building Generational Wealth

The Community Foundation recently distributed a new round of grants from its Black Equity & ...

View More