Cover photo for Jerome "Jerry" Palma's Obituary
Jerome "Jerry" Palma Profile Photo
1936 Jerome 2023

Jerome "Jerry" Palma

May 11, 1936 — November 23, 2023

Jerome Frank Palma passed away on November 23, 2023.  He was born in Chicago in 1936, the youngest of six children born to Czech parents, Josef Palma and Louise Cecrle Palma.

Jerome grew up in North Judson, Indiana.  After the death of his father, the family returned to Illinois where he graduated from the Wheaton Academy in 1954.  He spent five years studying at the Art Institute of Chicago with a major in industrial design before beginning military service during the Korean War.  Following his military service, Jerome obtained a B.S. degree from Butler University.

Both his interests and his careers were varied.  Jerome taught art at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, worked parttime at radio stations in the Indy area, served as an on-air personality at WTAF television station in Marion, Indiana, became a TV personality on Channel 2 in Terre Haute where he was a newsman with the air name Frank Jerome, worked as a lecturer/demonstrator for PSI Energy for decades until retirement, left retirement to present electrical safety programs for several REMCs in Indiana, and finally served as an artisan crafting enameled jewelry, an endeavor he began at age 80.

Jerome’s musical ability qualified him to serve as trombonist in the 113th Army Band, the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Pastels Dance Band.  Like his father before him, Jerome served as choir director and song leader in various churches.

Jerome was a member of the Dailey Chapel Christian Church, the Covered Bridge Art Association, and the American Legion.  He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  He was also an associate member of the Parke-Vermillion Retired Teachers Association.

Among the things that enriched Jerome’s life were his love for God, family, and country.  He and his wife of 63 years, Carmen Palma, enjoyed retirement among the tall trees in Parke County in a home designed by Jerome’s oldest brother.  In that setting Jerome enthusiastically watched and fed birds, traveled the country roads on his Triumph motorcycle, and filled his surroundings with sounds of classical and religious music, jazz, disco, and recordings of his world-class trombonist nephew, George Krem.

This hard-working veteran was an involved father and grandfather, an encourager, a car enthusiast, a patriot, a creative artisan, a life-long learner with varied interests, a welcoming host, a tender-hearted protector of the wounded (human and animal), a pilgrim seeking to please God, and one whose charismatic personality and friendliness made him a natural for being on stage.

Jerome is survived by his wife, Carmen Palma; daughter, Kari Palma; daughter, Rochelle Madden (Rev. Dr. Quentin Madden); sister, Libby Klug; grandchildren, Melanie Madden, Ian Madden, Robert Barabas, Luke Livingston, Kylie Madden; and several nieces and nephews.

Jerome was preceded in death by his parents, Louise and Josef Palma; sister, Louise Krem (George); and brothers, Joseph Palma (Mildred), Lumir Palma (Alice), and Milt Palma (Mary Mae).

Visitation will be at Dailey Chapel Christian Church on December 9 from 10:00 till noon with the memorial service from noon until 1:00.  Burial is at Mount Pleasant cemetery, located on the ridge where Jerome lived in contentment during the last seasons of his life.

For those wishing to make a donation, contributions can be made to Samaritan’s Purse.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerome "Jerry" Palma, please visit our flower store.


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