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Immaculate Conception at night by Vincent Embser

Amy Kay Palmer, Wellsville

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Amy Kay Palmer died Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022 at Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, NY. She was born July 23, 1942 in Cuba, N.Y., the daughter of the late Jay S. and Dorothy (Allen) Schwab. She was raised in Friendship, graduated from Friendship Central School in 1960, and went on to attend Arnot Ogden School of Nursing in Elmira, earning a NY State Registered Professional Nursing License in 1963. She married Jon C. Palmer on Aug. 31, 1963 in Friendship, N.Y. while he was serving in the Air Force. When they returned to the area, they settled at a farmstead on Hanover Hill in Wellsville, where they raised their family.

Jon died in December 1999. Amy was also predeceased by her parents, a brother, Jay Allen (Pete) Schwab, and two sisters Linda Barnett and Diane Creech. She is survived by her children, Joann (Julio) Gracia of Falls Church, VA and Jerome (Pamala) Palmer of Scio, NY; a sister, Tina (Dan) Yanke in Inverness, FL, and two brothers, Richard (Theresa) Schwab of Ligonier, PA, and James (Sandy) Schwab of Summerville, SC. Also, eight grandchildren: Jonathan, Michael and Jason Gracia; Hayley and Paige Palmer, and Tosha Sheridan, Shayna (Eric) Murray, and Autumn (Adam) Dixon, along with numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and several great-grandchildren.

Amy began her nursing career as an RN at Jones Memorial Hospital, moving on to local doctor’s offices. She became safety director/occupational health nurse at Air Preheater in Wellsville. That led to launching On-Site Health and Safety Services Inc. with her husband in 1989, where she served as president until her retirement in 2008.

She held numerous memberships and certifications in her field of occupational health and safety – as a hearing conservationist, occupational health nurse, OSHA site worker protection specialist and as an industrial hygienist. She belonged to the Allegany County Nurses Association, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, and served as president of the Allegany NY Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Amy and Jon enjoyed many wonderful years on their beloved Hanover Hill homestead where, depending upon the season, they could be found tapping maple trees, hosting countless gatherings of family and friends, pressing apples, and tending their Christmas tree plantation. Amy was a terrific cook, a great baker and a super homemaker. She was keeper of the family recipes and could whip up a delicious carrot cake, blueberry buckle or strawberry shortcake on short notice.

The Palmers hosted pig roasts, clam bakes, and barbecues by the score. Their home became a magnet for family gatherings year-round, from summer campouts (especially during Wellsville Balloon Rally weekends), to hunting and ice-skating parties and Christmas gatherings. Many hours were spent coaching the younger generation on the finer points of kneading homemade bread, cooking frog legs at midnight, and getting pine pitch out of their hair. She took her role seriously when assisting her husband and partner in crime by distracting the nieces and nephews while Jon primed the marshmallow tree for discovery by wide-eyed youngsters.

Her appetite for adventure was fed with trips to Alaska, Japan, and numerous New York to Florida trips punctuated with stops at any beach with a sunset. All friends were greeted with a hug, and most strangers were as well. As her once legendary driving skills began to diminish, she found herself staying closer to home, and later in life basset hounds, beagles and grandchildren were on her preferred company list (not necessarily in that order). Amy knew her Lord, and went gracefully with Joann, Jerry and Pam at her side.

There will be no visitation. A private graveside service for family was held Friday, December 23, 2022. A memorial service will be held at a later date when Amy’s favorite flowers – tulips and daffodils – begin to bloom. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com 

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