Brien Palmer was active in Murrysville community
By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Brien Palmer greeted everyone he met with a smile and a kind word.
“When you said, ‘Hi,' to him, that smile was always there,” Murrysville Council President Joan Kearns said. “He was always gentle, always polite and always to the point.”
Mr. Palmer, of Murrysville, died Friday from complications after surgery. He was 60.
While not a native — he grew up in Painesville, Ohio — he adopted Murrysville as home and served on numerous committees, commissions and groups to promote the unique qualities of the municipality.
“It wasn't just the trail alliance; it wasn't just the library,” said Jamie Falo, director of Murrysville Community Library. “It was the whole community he impacted.”
Falo first met Mr. Palmer not long after she took the helm at the library in 2011. He was the first donor with whom she met, as he was making a contribution on behalf of the Murrysville Trail Alliance. He was a regular at the library, she said, not only to donate books but as a facilitator for the Socrates Café, a monthly philosophy discussion group.
“Brien was so very pleasant and nice to work with — just such a nice guy,” Falo said. “He was so thoughtful and generous with his time and so dedicated to his community.”
As chairman of the Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Murrysville, Mr. Palmer often spoke about environmental concerns, particularly during debates regarding Marcellus shale drilling. He has sat on many municipal committees, including the library board and the comprehensive plan committee and Route 22 corridor task force.
He also was a member of the East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church.
As vice chairman of the Murrysville Trail Alliance, Mr. Palmer sought to protect the environment of Murrysville. He also was a member of the Murrysville Stream Monitoring Group, which tests water quality in streams throughout the municipality.
Betsy Aiken, chairwoman of the trail alliance, called Mr. Palmer a strong advocate of trails.
“He was a steadfast supporter of green causes in Murrysville and an involved citizen who was deeply committed to our community.” Aiken said. “He was very unusual in the extent of his commitment and willingness to go to council and speak on issues.”
Mr. Palmer was no stranger to council, Kearns said. The owner of a management-consulting business, Mr. Palmer met with local officials regularly. Kearns said, at one point, he led a workshop to help council work together better — which was fitting, given that in 2003 he published “Making Change Work: Practical Tools for Overcoming Human Resistance to Change.”
Kearns recalled how Mr. Palmer enjoyed riding through the municipality on his motorcycle and enjoying the open space he often fought to protect.
“He could hardly wait for spring to ride his motorcycle — and he didn't look the motorcycle type,” she said. “It's a big hole he's left. He was one whose primary mission was to remind all of why we moved to Murrysville and what unique qualities there are in the community.”
Mr. Palmer is survived by his mother, Patricia, of Murrysville; his wife, Kate Codd-Palmer; and a daughter, Erin. He was preceded in death by his father. Willard Palmer.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 15 spills illegally discharge sewage into Murrysville’s Turtle Creek
- Charges filed in fatal Murrysville crash
- Delmont to decide next month on Speedway’s future
- Grant denial might delay Heritage Trail expansion project
- Westmoreland authority: Water with chlorine odor is safe
- State awards $457K grant for trail in Murrysville area