WATERTOWN- Michael J. Palmer, 73, of Watertown, passed away Tuesday, February 1, at St. Mary’s Hospital, surrounded by his wife and children.

He was born April 13, 1948, to Gordon and Margaret Palmer. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1968 and went on to become a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force 439th Tactical Airlift Wing, in which he served until 1975. He was a member of the Watertown Fire Department in the late 1970s. He was a steamfitter welder by trade and was a lifelong member of the UA Local 777 (formerly UA Local 22) retiring in 2005.

Michael was a life member of the VFW and the Knights of Columbus, and a member of the American Legion. He spent several years trapshooting at the Northfield Rod and Gun club and placed in several trapshooting competitions. He was an active member of many classic car clubs, including the National Street Rod Association, the Prospect Car Owners Association, The Connecticut Street Rod Association and the Brass City Cruisers, and would spend summers showing his prized, cherry red, 1929 Model A Ford.

Michael had a commanding personality and was generous with his time, always willing to lend a helping hand.

Michael was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Douglas. He is survived by his wife of 40 years Frances; his daughter Theresa (Colin Dzioba) and son Mickey of Watertown; his beloved grandchildren Brigit and Calvin Dzioba of Watertown; his brothers Kevin (Mary) and Martin of Watertown; his sister Gretta Bowers of Watertown; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends and family can join us in celebrating Mike’s life on Tuesday, February 8th from 5-7 at Hickcox Funeral Home in Watertown. Masks are requested in the funeral home to safeguard everyone’s health. The burial will be private at the convenience of the family in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Watertown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Watertown Fire Department, 935 Main Street, Watertown, CT 06795.