Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. David Palmatier, OSB

Father David Palmatier, O.S.B., age 78, a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois died peacefully in the Lord at St. Patrick's Residence in Naperville, Illinois. Father David was the oldest of 7 children born to Elmer A. Palmatier and Frances Lakeman. He is survived by the members of his monastic community, his brothers and sister, and many nieces and nephews. Father David was born on February 4, 1932, and was baptized with the name of Elmer at St. Nicholas Church, Aurora, Illinois. He entered Marmion Abbey in 1953 and professed his first vows as a monk of Marmion Abbey on August 6, 1954, taking the name of David. Father David was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1959 and celebrated his first mass at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora, Illinois. In 1966 Fr. David was assigned to the second group of founders of Marmion Abbey's San Jos+¬ Priory and Seminary in Guatemala. After ten years, he returned to Marmion to teach at Marmion Academy as well as to be Associate Pastor of Annunciation Church in Aurora. Fr. David again served in his beloved Guatemala from 1984 to 1992. In his career, Father was a teacher, missionary, spiritual director, infirmarian, speaker on behalf of our Guatemalan priory, care giver to those who had lost a dear one and bringer of consolation to those in bad health. He was known for his solicitous care of the poor and the sick. He was known in nursing homes and hospitals in the area. He built houses for poor widows in Guatemala. He cut down trees, and helped out in parishes when there was a shortage of priests. In one of his earlier letters from Guatemala, Fr. David described a two month period in a parish. There were two towns and 45 villages with some 50,000 people to care for. Some places could only be reached on horseback. Fr. David was undaunted by the challenge; this was the story of his life.Published in Beacon News on August 15, 2010