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James F. Palmer
September 17, 2019
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James Freeman Palmer, 90, passed away at Sunrise Senior Living in northwest Washington, DC, surrounded by his family. He was born on July, 30th, 1929 in Washington, DC to George Palmer and Annie Lindsey Palmer. James married his childhood neighbor and lifelong sweetheart, Frances Palmer, on November 30, 1949. Together, they had two daughters, Cheryl and Crystal.
James and Frances were two people dancing a duet and two solos at the same time-a mosaic of a million tiny moments that created a true love story.
James attended the District of Columbia Teachers College from 1954 to 1958, and served his country as a military policeman in Korea during the Vietnam War. James entered the U.S. Marshal's service in 1960. A controversial yet enormously talented individual, who was always unapologetically himself. James quickly rose through the ranks of the U.S. Marshal Service, becoming interim U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia, the first person to ever do so from the ground-up. James then left the Marshal Service when he was appointed Director of the D.C. Department of Corrections where he made many important contributions to the correctional system that was recognized by members of Congress. James was a Renaissance man, and one of the best dressed men around town, earning himself the nickname, "Diamond Jim." James enjoyed attending concerts around the city, including those of famed singer-songwriters, Smokey Robinson and James Brown, a close personal friend.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Frances, daughters, Cheryl Lynn Walker (Allan), Crystal Laurie Palmer (Harold Brazil); grandchildren, Brittany Brazil, Harold Brazil Jr., Howard Walker and James Walker; great-grandchildren, Jamie Crawford-Walker, James Palmer Walker and Jarett Walker; and many other relatives and friends.
James Freeman Palmer was a provider, a teacher, and a role model who believed in everyone around him-handing them life scripts for reaching their potential that they will likely be aspiring towards for the rest of their lives.