OongHoi Palmer (Kim), 81, of Junction City, KS, has gone to join her Father in her Heavenly Reward on April 19, 2017, four years after being diagnosed with dementia.
She leaves her beloved husband of nearly 38 years, Zane Palmer of Junction City, Kansas; her grandchildren from her daughter Irene Huggard (Deceased), Jeromy Huggard and wife Mandy of Seattle, Washington, Randy Huggard and wife Yvonne and their children Aaron and Addy of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Becca Huggard and her son Cedar of Fort Collins, Colorado, Brandi Higdon and her son Sage of Fort Collins, Colorado; Her son Raymond Searles and wife Donna of LaPorte, Indiana, and their children Jessica Mizell of Kettering, Ohio, the children of Nick Searles (deceased) Rhyli and Kelly of LaPorte, Indiana, Ashley Searles of Junction City, Kansas, Brianna Searles of Chicago, Illinois, Matthew Wilhelm and wife Teyama and their children Nathan and Ann Marie of LaPorte, Indiana, Ryan Wilhelm and wife Alicia and their children Malaki and Noah of LaPorte, Indiana, John Pursley of LaPorte, Indiana, and Camryn Pursley of LaPorte, Indiana; her son Richard Searles and wife Karin of Milford, Kansas and their children Ricky Searles and wife Laura Searles of Manhattan, Kansas, Crystal Johnson and husband Nate, of Topeka, Kansas; her daughter Bonnie McKeon and husband Frank McKeon of Dade City, Florida, their children, Dean Ross of Tampa, Florida, Michael Patterson and his wife Cierra and their children Michael and Jayda of Miami, Florida.
Kim was born in Chungju, South Korea. Her family was uprooted from her home in her early teen years when the North Koreans bombed her family’s estate. While fleeing from her home she was hit by with shrapnel and still managed to carry her little brother to safety. During the next few years she moved to Seoul, Korea where she raised the money to put her brother through Journalism School. She later met Clarence Searles, a young American soldier in 1959. She came to America in 1960, where she became proud to call this foreign country home.
She put her memories of Korea behind her and started to expand their small family. She rarely spoke of Korea and her hardships after the war. She focused on raising her four children and providing for them by working hard and learning the language to better herself. She had the dream to become an American Citizen. She spent countless hours going to night school after working all day. Her four children can remember those night classes as they attended every class with her. Besides her family, her greatest achievement was the day she became a United States Citizen.
Kim spent many years working at the Quarter Master Laundry on Ft Riley. She later was promoted to Supervisor, where she became a mentor and friend to so many people over the years. She worked several part time jobs as well to save money to put her daughter, Irene, through Nursing School.
In 1978, she met Zane Palmer, and they were married shortly after. They made their first home in Milford, Kansas. Shortly after, Zane was deployed for duty to Korea for a year. Kim gave up her civil service job to be with her husband and to go back to see family after 20 years. After the reunion with family and a year away, her only thoughts were to come home. When asked if she would ever go back, she said "No. This is my home and where my family is and my life". She spent the next 38 years with Zane. Their relationship was one that brought them closer together everyday and only death had the power to separate them from each other.
Working in her yard was a passion for Kim. She loved her flowers, goldfish pond, rock gardens, and yard art. She finally fulfilled her dream when she bought her home in Crestview, a neighborhood she admired since moving to Junction City. There was nothing that she couldn’t do. Whether it was tearing out a wall, cutting down a tree, or remodeling her kitchen, if she set out to get something done, she made it happen. She dedicated her life to her children.
A person spends their whole life hoping to make a difference. Kim made a permanent difference by being generous, kind, and thoughtful to her kids and grandkids. Because of that, she has touched and guided their lives forever. She had strong character traits that she passed on to each of her children. Bonnie carries her mother's beauty and kind heart. She will give you the shirt off her back or the last dime in her pocket. Richard inherited her mechanical skills and ability to fix and repair anything that's broken. Raymond displays her charisma and silly sense of humor. Irene was graced with her beauty and the love and compassion she had when caring for others. Kim will live on through her children, because they each carry a piece of her with them.
Kim will be truly missed and always be in the hearts of her loved ones. Her kindness and caring for others will be passed on by her family for generations to come. Tears will flow for her loss for many years. She is now reunited with her daughter Irene and other family members and friends that have passed before her.
Friends and family will gather Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 3:00 pm. to 5:00 pm. at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 203 N. Washington Street, Junction City, KS.
A small Going Home celebration will be held Tuesday, April, 25, 2017, at 1:00 pm at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery, 5181 Wildcat Creek Rd., Manhattan, KS, with Pastor Ronnie Roberts officiating.
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