Print Obituary & Condolences    


John Russell Palm of Rockford, IL died on Friday, December 25, 2015 at Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center. He was born on February 5, 1923 in Rockford to Floyd R. and Victoria (Christianson) Palm. John was a member of the first graduating class of East High School (1941). He attended the University of Illinois where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and graduated with a degree in engineering in 1947.

On July 10, 1945 John and his identical twin brother James (Jim) Palm married their childhood sweethearts and next-door neighbors, sisters Kathryn (Katie) and Marilyn (Mary) Erickson in a double wedding at First Evangelical Free Church. John served as an Officer in the United States Army during World War II.

John and his wife Katie were active in Young Life for many years, hosting the high school youth and serving on the local board. For eighteen years, John, his brother Jim and brother-in-law Karl Erickson owned the Last Straw Ice Cream Parlor and Family Restaurant. John was especially proud that they provided the first jobs to over 1,000 teenagers. John, Jim and Karl also owned Rockford Engineered Products Company (REPCO) for over 40 years.

His Christian faith in the Lord was very important to him. Together with his wife Katie, he actively supported numerous Christian organizations.

He is remembered for his lasting love and devotion to Katie and their three daughters, Carol, Ginger and Nancy. He loved visits with his grandkids and great-grandkids. John had a very special bond with his twin brother Jim.

Our family is grateful to God for blessing us with such an amazing, loving Christian father, grandfather and great grandfather. John demonstrated his faith and integrity as an example for serving others and blessing our community, friends and families.

John and Katie enjoyed their life-long friends at Bethesda Covenant Church, with whom they traveled in the United States and Israel. He and Katie visited the Scandinavian countries with Mary, Jim, Evelyn and Floyd Palm to learn more about their Swedish heritage. John and Katie were avid golfers, and enjoyed their time golfing at Forest Hills Country Club. John was a gifted watercolor artist and shared his talent by teaching several of his grandchildren.

He is survived by daughters Ginger (Steve) Stroup of Rockford and Nancy (Don) Marley of Rogers, Arkansas; grandchildren Mark (Ashley) Stroup, Chris (Amy) Stroup, Paul (Erin) Stroup, Jared (Jill C.) Marley, Laura Marley, Daniel (Amanda) Marley and Jill (Marco) Marley-Berry; ten great grandchildren Micah, Ellie, Livia, Isaac, Calvin and Grace Stroup, Kate, Jett and Addison Marley and Paola Marley-Berry; and sister-in-laws Barbara Erickson and Evelyn Palm. John is predeceased by his wife of 67 years Kathryn Palm; daughter Carol Palm; parents Floyd and Victoria Palm; brothers James Palm and Floyd R. Palm Jr.; sister-in-law Marilyn Palm; and brother-in-law Karl Erickson.

The family wishes to thank all the staff at Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center for their loving and kind care to John and Katie.

The memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center, with Pastor David Lindfors officiating. Visitation is at 9:30 a.m. prior to the memorial service. A luncheon will be served immediately after the service. A private burial will be later at Arlington Memorial Park.

A memorial donation in John Palm's memory is welcome to any of the following organizations: Bethesda Covenant Church, 2101 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61104, Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center, 3470 N. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61114 or Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Drive, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

Condolences & Shared Memories (2)

  1. Erica Pitts

    The Marley Family - I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Barb Shlikas Cornwall

    Ginger & Nancy - I am saddened to read of your father's passing and send sincere condolences to you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. I was in the 1967 Guilford graduating class with Nancy (

Leave Condolences or Share a Memory