In loving memory, Andy Palmer

Arendell Hoyt Palmer Obituary

“Andy” (Arendell) Hoyt Palmer, born March 8, 1932 died peacefully at Westward Heights on Friday, July 15, 2022. He was the youngest of eight children born to James H. and Teddy T. (Floyd) in Calico Rock, Arkansas. Having lost both his parents at a young age, Andy did his “growing up” with the help of his oldest sister, Inice.

After graduating from high school in Oklahoma, Andy spent two years in the army anti-aircraft division stationed in Riverside, California, where he met his first wife Marge (Helms) Stensaas. They returned to her home in Lander where Andy and Marge had one daughter, Jan Sears. After their divorce, Andy met and married Fern Regan who had been widowed for several years and had six children of her own.

Andy worked as an auto mechanic most of his working days and retired from Fremont Motor Company in 1994. His records show that Andy had aligned between 45,000 and 50,000 automobiles. Andy was also a self-taught musician and through the years worked with some well known recording stars such as Hank Thompson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Tennessee Ernie and seven artists who had number one hit records. Andy was invited to
Nashville with a friend of Roy Acuff, and to audition for Motown Records. Most of his local career was with Andy Palmer and the Westerners who played regular gigs at the Stock Growers Bar as well as being regulars at the Fremont County Winter Fair. One of the highlights of his music career came when Andy was invited to play lead guitar for Delmona Benally’s band in 1988; a group that Andy said “made him sound better than he
was.” About 1965, Andy entered and won first place on fiddle and also guitar at a contest in Sundance, WY, winning a Buffalo BIll medallion.

When Andy and Fern married, he dropped the dance band music and began to write and sing gospel music. Andy has more than 100 songs written down. He took part in many church activities, having filled every position except marrying and burying. Andy’s faith and involvement in spreading the gospel were an important part of life and many will remember Andy talking to them about God’s love. Andy loved to do wood carving, gardening, and “whatever Fern told him to do to make their yard a show place of flowers.” In 1989, they won the “Best Yard” award.

Andy is survived by his daughter Jan (Scott) Sears of Lander, WY, and three grandsons and six great grandchildren from his first wife. From his second, he is survived by stepsons Ron Regan, Clark Regan, and Henry (Julia) Regan; and his step daughter LaDonna (Gary) Pickinpaugh with 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings, his first wife Marge Stensaas, his second wife Fern and stepchildren Tim Regan and Vicky Eklund.

A celebration of life will be held on Aug 7 at 2:00pm at the Lander Community Center, 950 Buena Vista Drive.

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