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Theresa ‘Teri’ Palmer, 68

| February 25, 2024 12:00 AM

Born in Butte in May 1955 to James and Julia Winston, the oldest of four children, Teri was ever Butte proud. She received an all-Catholic education culminating with a Butte Central High School graduation. She stayed in close contact with many friends from her grade school days. She “officially” met the love of her life, Bill Palmer, at a friend’s wedding … although she does tell family that she would look for any opportunity to go to the grocery store he worked at to see (stalk) him. 

Teri started her higher education at St. Mary’s College, which she affectionally referred to as the second prison in Kansas. Thankfully she had her great aunt Sister Virginia to watch over her. She completed her undergrad at Eastern Montana College and began a teaching career at Ramsey Montana. Later, she completed her master’s degree which she was very proud of. In the 30-plus years of her career, she taught fourth grade, junior high, and ended as the director of Bridge Academy. She attempted to retire twice before the final success. In the first attempts, she taught at the juvenile detention center and worked as a case manager helping low-income families. When nominated for teacher of the year, colleagues described her unique ability to reach kids and help them see their potential. Over the years she had multiple students seek her out in gratitude. 

Teri and Bill married in 1977 and moved to Kalispell in 1983 where they raised three amazing daughters. We always laughed that the four girls taught Bill everything he ever wanted to know about being surrounded by strong women. Teri and Bill are honored by the many friendships who are loved as family.

Teri was famous for inviting strangers, who were always treated like family, to dinner. She could be heard saying, “It’s just one more potato,” while Bill could be heard reminding her that the rest of the family should know their name before they attend Sunday dinner.

Teri’s faith held a significant place in her heart as did music. She loved playing the piano and teaching her granddaughters the same. She also loved knitting and sewing. The family has many fond memories of traveling for sports and activities for the kids/grandkids and spending summers camping. Teri was very proud of her rose garden and the memories that came with each plant. 

Teri is preceded in death by her father, James Winston; in-laws Maddie and Larry Palmer; brothers-in-law, Danny Palmer and Ray Pascoe; nephew, Vincent Giamona; niece, Brooke Buhl; and many loved aunts and uncles.

Teri is survived by her loving husband, Bill; daughters Angie (Trevor) Wickersham, Lissy (Sam) Boar, and Kristen; grandchildren Brody and Madalynn, Ben and Grace; loving mother Julia Ann Winston; siblings Julie (Hal) Hubber, Ginger (Tommy) Gothro, and John (Cindy) Winston; in-laws Ken (Micki) Palmer, Kathy Pascoe, George (Laurie) Palmer, Larriann (Mike) Murphy, Dave (Betsy) Palmer, Keith (Detta) Palmer, Peggy (Jim) Prendergast, Mary Palmer, Lynnette (Randy) Williams; aunts Midge Rivenes and Peggy Flanick; and uncle Tom Holter. Teri was blessed by numerous nieces and nephews (including great) on both sides. 

A rosary will be held at St. Matthew’s Church in Kalispell on March 1, 2024, at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m.