Ruth Sloan Palmer January 29, 1925 ~ December 16, 2023

Ruth Sloan Palmer passed away on December 16, 2023 in St George, Utah at the age of 98.
Our mother, “Ruthie” was born to George Guthrie and Polly Skousen Sloan in Colonia Juarez, Mexico on Jan. 29, 1925. She appreciated that she was an American, by way of her parent’s citizenship, but she was also proud of being a citizen of Mexico and that is where her heart always remained.    
Family finances were lean during the Great Depression, but she always spoke of her childhood as idyllic, everything anyone would ever want, with the exception of new shoes.
They had picnics in the mountains, swam in the river that ran through town, climbed trees, picked wild berries, rode horses and had weekly community, church or school events. She was a good student, skipping the third grade altogether, but was often reprimanded for talking too much.
Her mother, being a nurse midwife, was often called away from home and her father was often away looking for work, mining in the mountains, or on various church missions. 
Mom became very close to her grandmother, Mally, who provided support and security for her and her beloved younger sister, Melvina.  She dearly loved her brothers also, Ralph, Daniel, and George, who were all older than she.
They were her tormentors and then later, her protectors. There was also a special relationship with her Aunt Cecil, who she always said was an angel. Her uncle and aunt’s house was where she lived during her high school years, as her parents were then living in Cananea, Sonora.
After graduating from the Juarez Stake Academy in 1942, she enrolled at BYU. However, after going home for Christmas break, she didn’t return to Provo.  She and two close friends were called to the Mexico Mission, which in those years included the entire country.
In October 1943, at the young age of 18, she arrived with her friends in Mexico City. Some larger cities she served in were, Mexico City and Monterrey, and a number of smaller, often impoverished, areas. 
What Spanish skills she had then, rapidly expanded. She continued to love and use Spanish her entire life and nothing seemed to make her happier than speaking it with others. She loved her mission and the Mexican people she served.
Some of the people she taught became life-long friends. Reluctantly, because she didn’t see herself as a good pianist, she played the piano for many meetings in the small branches.
Her brother Daniel was killed in the Pacific Theatre during World War II and some of his insurance money was used by her parents to fund the rest of the mission. When released in 1945, she went to Mesa, AZ, where her parents had resettled..
In the months following, she tried business school and turned down three marriage proposals. Then, after the fourth date in five days, with Clint Palmer from Blanding, UT, (a place she knew nothing about,) she went home and told her parents, “If he asks me to marry him, I will say, “Yes!”
He did and they married March 28, 1946, two months after they met. She always knew he was the right one for her. She said in her history, “I could write a book about how very special Clint Palmer was.”
They soon settled in Blanding, and although she would rather have been in Mesa or Mexico, they worked hard to provide a loving home for the five children that followed, in the next nine plus years.
Ruth’s goal was to teach her children the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be responsible and honest.  She always expected our best efforts and gave an excellent example. We always knew what she believed in and why. But her example of unconditional love and forgiveness is probably the trait that stands out the strongest.
She continued to serve faithfully in the church in numerous capacities for many years. One very notable effort was her 20+ years of doing Spanish extraction work for the family history program.
When we children grew older, she started supplementing the family income, working in Bert Palmer’s store, in the kitchen at Headstart, functioning like a school nurse for the district, assisting her sister-in-law, Helen at her dress shop, and with Vera Hazelton and Denise Lyman as a county WIC secretary.
Mom didn’t see herself as talented, but we, as her children, know her as a fabulous cook, a gifted organizer and a beautiful home decorator, among other things.
As our father’s mobility declined, due to Parkinson’s Disease, she provided the care for him, mostly on her own, through numerous, difficult and sometimes humorous challenges.
Both of them had a gift for seeing humor, even when things were hard. They moved to St George in 1997, as it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to care for Clint and their home in the snow. Her love for him and willingness to help him until he passed on in 1999, is a lasting legacy and gift to her posterity.
She continued on, giving all she could to the benefit of her family, loving each new member wholly, and treating every grandchild as extra special.
The deaths of grandchildren was the deepest of pains for her, but she kept her continuing faith in the promises of Christ. She was also a great friend to many, until age and dementia took its toll.
Ruth is greatly loved by all her family and as was recently noted by several granddaughters, “We have never had any doubt how much our grandma loves us.” She was fondly known as “Abuela”, especially by the great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her children Marene Coston, Daniel (Paia), Polly Madrid (John), Ted (Merry), Amy Redd (Kenny), 20 grandchildren, plus their spouses (also loved and respected by her as family), 67 great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren and one sister-in-law, Doris Sloan of Mesa.
Preceded in death by her parents, siblings, son-in-law Richard Coston, and five grandchildren, Jonnie Bryn Redd, Oley Palmer, Tom Palmer, Jerry Palmer, and William Kolin (Bowie) Redd.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Escalante, The Meadows, Memory Care Center, St George, for their care for our mother and the San Juan Mortuary.
Services will be held December 30, 2023 at 11 am, at the Blanding South Chapel, with a viewing preceding from 9 to 10:30 at the San Juan Mortuary, 370 S.Main St.  Interment in the Blanding City Cemetery.

San Juan Record

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