Jack_Palmer Photo by Don Nelson


Claude John Palmer



“Jack” was born in Billings, MT on November 19, 1925. A graduate of Balboa High School, June 1943, he proudly served in the Navy on the USS AJAX in the Pacific during WWII and retired after 32 years with the U.S. Postal Service, San Francisco, CA. He was married to his bride, Elsie Palmer (recently deceased) for 77 years. Jack is survived by a son, Paul, daughters Carol and Cynthia and grandsons Benjamin and Jeremy. A charter member of Feather River Rail Society, Portola, CA, and modeled Western Pacific Railroad equipment. He enjoyed railroading, philately, fishing, and photography. A Past Master, Hiram Awardee, officers coach 32 years, secretary 26 years And 71 year member of Crocker Lodge #212, F&AM, Daly City. Past President of the 336th Masonic District Officers Assn., Member of California Commandery #1, York Rite, S.F. Bodies Scottish Rite, and Asiya Temple of the Shrine.


Jack was awarded the 1999 Glad Hand award in 2000.
Jack was very proud of the Glad Hand award and his models; they followed him right to the very end.

Photo by Kerry Cochran

Some history on the Glad Hand Award:
In the early part of 1990, Feather River Rail Society’s Founder, Norman Holmes made the statement “The Railroad Museum should do something to award members who do outstanding service”. From this statement and Bruce Cooper’s work, the Glad Hand Award was created.

Each of the early awards was hand made. Bruce Cooper made several of the first awards, and when Bruce passed away, Jim Gidley Sr., with the help of Kerry Cochran, made sure the awards continued. Unfortunately Jim Gidley Sr. soon thereafter passed away, and Kerry continued to press on making the awards.

There are some guidelines governing the presentation of this award. The person must give service to the Feather River Rail Society above their normal museum duty. Be enthusiastic, always looking out for the museums best interest. The award is not restricted to any one department of the Feather River Rail Society. There may be one or more given out a year. The Superintendent of Operations does presentation of the award, during the summer operating season or at the annual membership meeting.

Services were held Thursday December 1st 2022.

Internment is at:
  Olivet Cemetery
  1601 Hillside Blvd
  Colma, Ca. 94014

Updated: 12/4/2022



Jack told us a story in five parts of his railfanning, you can read it HERE!

Jack was also an active modeler, you can read about his "Rock Bunker" model HERE!

Jack was around the museum in the very early days and told us a story from days gone by. You can read it HERE!

Jack left us some photos from the very early days at the museum. See some HERE!

Jack as an avid rail photographer, See some of his photos HERE!