Ocean Beach 05

Lonnie Richard Palmer

November 4, 1939 ~ January 10, 2022 (age 82)


On Monday, January 10th, Lonnie Richard Palmer passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, daughter, and granddaughter at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. He had been hospitalized following a heart attack in December, and was able to spend many of his final days reminiscing with his family and close friends.

Richard was no stranger to adversity in his lifetime. The last of 7 siblings, he was born premature. Doctors offered little chance of survival, but his mother held out hope and placed him in a shoebox under their wood burning stove. He lived through the night, and went on to live a long, prolific life.

Losing both of his parents before the age of 16, he grew up in the care of his older sister. In high school he met the love of his life, Doris Jean Mangum, and they married at age 18. They went to work together at Lexington’s textile mill, Burlington Industries, and began saving a few cents each week in the hope of building a family.

After the birth of their only child Donna Janine, Richard picked up a second job as a painter to make ends meet. Restless to provide a better life, he attended community college classes in business management and worked the night shift at the mill so he could be present in his daughter’s upbringing.

From these humble beginnings, he attained his associates degree and became an accountant. Doris worked her way up to the trust department at Wachovia, now Wells Fargo. Twenty years after starting from nothing, they put their daughter through Wake Forest University.

Richard had a special ability to treat life’s setbacks as ways to grow, sometimes reinventing himself. After leading the accounting team at two companies, fate again called him to change. In 1991 when his granddaughter Jill was diagnosed with brain cancer, he abruptly picked up his career and moved to Fayetteville to help raise and care for his grandchildren.

In Fayetteville, he joined Inacomp Computer Center, owned and run by his son-in-law and daughter. There he serviced computers, sold computers, and even managed a service department of computer technicians. He also shared his love of learning, teaching night classes at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

His passions were woodworking and spending time at the beach, or anywhere with his family. He couldn’t help but draw up ideas, find the tools needed to make them, and spend hours in his shop bringing them to life.  He passed on his love for design and craftsmanship to his grandson Jay, who became a professional Civil Engineer. 

In Fayetteville he and Doris found a church family at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.  They both loved the orchestra and music ministry at the church.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris Jean Mangum, his daughter Donna Palmer Dawkins, her husband Johnny L. Dawkins, III and his grandchildren Dawn Jillian Palmer Dawkins of Raleigh NC,   and Johnny Lee Dawkins, IV (Jay) and wife Sarah Holbrooks Dawkins, and a great-grandson Johnny Lee Dawkins V (Lee) of Raleigh NC. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins across the state and US. 

A graveside memorial service and celebration of his life will be hosted at Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery at 1pm on Friday, January 15th. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Snyder Memorial Music Ministry. Donations can be made online at SnyderMBC.com under Giving & Tithing online, selecting the Music Memorial Fund from the list. 

Online condolences may be made to www.jerniganwarren.com

Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lonnie, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
January 14, 2022

1:00 PM
Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery
2891 Gillespie St.
Fayetteville, NC 28306


Snyder Memorial Baptist Church
701 Westmont Dr., Fayetteville NC 28305
Tel: 1-910-484-3191
Email: susier@snydermbc.com
Web: https://www.snydermbc.com/

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