JANET ROSEMARY PALMER (10 Jan 1939 – 6 Apr 2020)
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our Chairman, Janet Palmer, who died on 6 April 2020 at St Joseph’s Care Home in Stafford. She was 81 years old and died of ovarian cancer which had been diagnosed the previous July. Janet had been a primary school teacher for much of her life and, although taking early retirement, continued for a time as a peripatetic teacher in Stafford. She became Chairman of the Club in October 2015 and continued in this role until sickness overtook her last year. She participated in a range of Phoenix activities but her major role was the establishment of the History Group and its continued management for 30 years. The first lecture she arranged was on 19th September 1990 on the work of the Salt Library in Stafford. Thereafter, she organised 11 lectures each year from visiting speakers with enormous success. During each August, she arranged an outing to a historical estate to replace the usual monthly lecture. Over the course of 30 years she was responsible for the smooth running of the History Group and the provision of over 300 speakers together with nearly 30 annual History Group outings. In addition, she was an active member of the club’s Outings Committee, arranging visits to various places, such as the Worcester Christmas Market. Apart from her Phoenix responsibilities, she was a trustee of the Walton Village Hall and a key member of the Stafford Folk Dance Club. Once a week, Janet would spend a morning at the Katharine House Hospice in Stafford as a volunteer librarian, helping to bring comfort to patients. She loved to walk in the countryside with her husband, David. They participated for many years in walks and rambling holidays with the mid-Staffs Ramblers Association, in which she occupied a prominent role as Chairman. In her final period of life, Janet underwent a hip replacement operation which she endured along with her underlying medical condition with the courage and determination that chararacterised her life. Above all, Janet was a caring member of the Stafford community whose contribution to society will be a lasting legacy to those who knew her. Her kindness and common sense will be greatly missed by all.