Tom Palmer died April 20 of cancer, according to his friend, Michael Pipitone. He was gay and had been a long-time Washington resident. He was 50.
Palmer was born in Stoughton, Mass., on March 12, 1964 and moved to Washington in 1982 where he attended George Washington University, graduating in 1986. Fluent in German and Spanish, he later lived and worked in Germany and New York City, but ultimately returned to D.C. where he worked in international tradeshow promotion, Internet marketing, political lobbying and communications for the Association of American Railroads.
As a late career change, Palmer earned his master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from Trinity University (2012) and became an unpaid ninth grade student teacher at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, an inner city high school.
Palmer was active in the LGBT 12-step recovery community of Washington, where he volunteered at Whitman-Walker Clinic as an addictions peer facilitator and served as president and board member of the LGBT 12-step recovery house, the Triangle Club.
In 2013, he was awarded volunteer of the year from Triangle. Palmer leaves behind his partner, Bouchaib Hadine of Lorton, Va. And his loving family: parents William and Dorothy Palmer of Cape Cod; siblings William and Ana Palmer of Mansfield; Robert Palmer of Stoughton, Mass., and Linda Monaco and Andrew Zickell of Mansfield; nieces Stephanie and Victoria Monaco, and nephews Dylan and Mikki Palmer; many caring relatives and friends, and a beloved long-term former partner, Jose Luis Goicochea.
A “celebration of life” service will be held June 1 at noon at the Josephine Butler Parks Center overlooking Merdian Hill Park, which had been one of his favorite local spots.