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

Children standing with paramedic
News Releases September 28, 2022

$240,000 in Grants Awarded to Black-Led Organizations

Seventeen grants from our Black Equity & Excellence Fund totaling $240,000 were distributed to support ...

woman at laptop computer
News Releases September 25, 2022

Community Foundation Bringing Training Platform to Organizations Serving Historically Excluded Communities

This is the first time Resilia’s cutting edge training has been offered in the Central ...

hand holding growing money
Publications September 13, 2022

5FORCNY REVISITED: With the Great Wealth Transfer Comes Great Opportunity

Updated forecasts suggest that U.S. households will transfer more than $84 trillion over the next ...

Blogs September 7, 2022

Reflections: Making the Invisible Visible

Minister Mark D. Muhammad, Ed.D. tells his personal story of struggles growing up in Syracuse ...

Aerial view of houses
News Releases September 6, 2022

New Report Discovers Opportunity for Local Charities' Future

Per household, the average value of assets set to transfer over the next 10 years ...

Women engaged around a table
News Releases August 29, 2022

Residents Called On to Design Lead Poisoning Prevention Project

Syracuse residents have an opportunity to help design and implement a project that will help ...

Jeff Knauss sits with his wife, son and daughter on an outdoor couch on a porch
Stories August 29, 2022

Jeff Knauss: Giving for the Greater Good

Jeff Knauss gives because “it’s the right thing to do—period.” He strives to continue making ...

Caragh Fahy and her two sons stand in from of a playground
Stories August 29, 2022

Caragh Fahy: Giving for Generations

Caragh believes that building a financial plan is like putting together a puzzle and charitable ...

melanie littlejohn twitter
Topics August 25, 2022

Black Philanthropy Month | Melanie Littlejohn

"As a community leader, I need to ensure that my voice is present and that ...

Children standing with paramedic
News Releases September 28, 2022

$240,000 in Grants Awarded to Black-Led Organizations

Seventeen grants from our Black Equity & Excellence Fund totaling $240,000 were distributed to support ...

woman at laptop computer
News Releases September 25, 2022

Community Foundation Bringing Training Platform to Organizations Serving Historically Excluded Communities

This is the first time Resilia’s cutting edge training has been offered in the Central ...

hand holding growing money
Publications September 13, 2022

5FORCNY REVISITED: With the Great Wealth Transfer Comes Great Opportunity

Updated forecasts suggest that U.S. households will transfer more than $84 trillion over the next ...

Blogs September 7, 2022

Reflections: Making the Invisible Visible

Minister Mark D. Muhammad, Ed.D. tells his personal story of struggles growing up in Syracuse ...

Aerial view of houses
News Releases September 6, 2022

New Report Discovers Opportunity for Local Charities' Future

Per household, the average value of assets set to transfer over the next 10 years ...

Women engaged around a table
News Releases August 29, 2022

Residents Called On to Design Lead Poisoning Prevention Project

Syracuse residents have an opportunity to help design and implement a project that will help ...

Jeff Knauss sits with his wife, son and daughter on an outdoor couch on a porch
Stories August 29, 2022

Jeff Knauss: Giving for the Greater Good

Jeff Knauss gives because “it’s the right thing to do—period.” He strives to continue making ...

Caragh Fahy and her two sons stand in from of a playground
Stories August 29, 2022

Caragh Fahy: Giving for Generations

Caragh believes that building a financial plan is like putting together a puzzle and charitable ...

melanie littlejohn twitter
Topics August 25, 2022

Black Philanthropy Month | Melanie Littlejohn

"As a community leader, I need to ensure that my voice is present and that ...

View More