Obituary: Steven Kennell Palmer, 60 — devoted husband, father, friend, and mentor, former Darien resident
Steven Kennell Palmer, 60, passed away on July 11, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Hartford, Connecticut on August 7, 1956, he was the son of the late Doris Kennell Palmer and Stuart Wilson Palmer. He was predeceased by a sister, Nancy P. Banks, and an uncle, Dr. John Kennell.
Steve was raised in West Hartford and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 163, where he earned his Eagle Scout Badge. He graduated from Bucknell University with a double major in political science and American history, and double minor in international relations and economics. Steve earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
He enjoyed a long and diverse career in commercial real estate finance in Connecticut and New York City, most recently as a partner and managing director at H/2 Capital Partners. As a young professional, he helped run a successful state representative election, was involved with Leadership Greater Hartford, coached and mentored youth lacrosse players in West Hartford, and was a volunteer leader for the Boy Scouts.
Steve resided in Darien, Connecticut for 23 years, where he dedicated hours to coaching youth soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. He was a co-founder of the Darien Real Estate Club and a member of the Darien High School Building Subcommittee, St. Thomas More Church, and the Country Club of Darien. Precious spare time on weekends was spent landscaping front and backyards, accompanied by his loyal dogs Nellie and Winnie.
Steve loved to travel, visiting Cuba, Europe and South America as a young adult, and organizing domestic and international vacations for his family. He and his wife relocated with his company to Dallas in June 2015, where they welcomed friends and family to their new home and explored new regions of the country. He enjoyed camping, gardening, attending classic rock and blues concerts, ancient history, world geography, and was an avid sports enthusiast.
Steve will be remembered for his strength, optimism, humility, loyalty, integrity and selflessness. He nurtured lifelong friendships, and his near-total recall of youthful escapades was legendary.
Most of all, Steve loved to link people together, and found common ground in a diverse group of friends and associates. His quiet resilience and courage inspired those who watched him fight a rare, relentless cranial cancer for 13 years. His “I won’t back down” attitude prevailed throughout numerous surgeries and treatments. Steve is cherished by his wife of 27 years, Laura Flaherty Palmer, and his three children: Wilson, Russell, and Sloane.
He is survived by his brother Douglas, his aunt Margaret Kennell, his cousins David Kennell, Susan K. Sholtes, Jack Kennell, their children, and nieces and nephews. Steve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Flaherty family - the (late) Mary G. Flaherty, James F. Flaherty, Jr., Jay and Mary Flaherty, Meg Flaherty, Ann F. Steinle and Tom Steinle, Susan Flaherty, Julie F. Livingstone and John Livingstone, and their families.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on July 29, 2017 at 11:30 am at St. Thomas More Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to fund rare cancer research may be made to www.accrf.org.