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Louis Palmer McCown, 83, of Midland, TX, passed away on December 25, 2022, in Midland, TX.
Visitation will be from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 2, 2023, at Hamil Family Funeral Home, Abilene, TX.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Abilene with the Rev. C. V. Blake, of First Baptist Church, officiating. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Palmer was born in Hillsboro to Erma LaVerne and Walter Hooper McCown on March 16, 1939. He was graduated from Littlefield High School in 1957 and received his Bachelor of Arts in Bible and history in 1961 from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. He earned his Master of Divinity in 1967 from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth.
He married Patricia Jean Jones on June 2, 1961, at First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. While in college, he pastored the Baptist-Methodist Church in Guthrie. During seminary days, he worked as the night guard at the building site of a skyscraper and managed a Burger King in Dallas. He worked as a Baptist Student Union minister for the Baptist General Convention of Texas at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, South Plains College in Levelland, the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in Belton, and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. He took a four-year hiatus from college ministry from 1972-1976 to serve as minister of youth and adult education at Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, VA. After retiring from student work in 2001, he served as interim music minister and pastor for various churches in the Abilene area. In 2006, he became minister to senior adults at First Baptist Church, Abilene, and he retired for a second time in 2016.
Palmer loved music from his youth: he was drum major of his high school band and was an All-State cornet player and All-State tenor. While attending HSU, he sang in the A Capella Choir and played trumpet in the “World Famous” Cowboy Band, which he served as vice president. He sang in the FBC, Abilene, choir for over 40 years, serving a stint as president, and he was part of FBC’s Men’s Ensemble. In retirement, he enjoyed singing with the civic group The Celebration Singers.
He was a man who loved his Lord and manifested this in his service to and involvement with others. He embodied the verse: “When you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto Me” (Matt. 25:30). He served his country in the ROTC while at Hardin-Simmons and helped cook breakfast for the Men’s Prayer group at FBC, Abilene. He served on the Board of Development at Hardin-Simmons University and, at one point, was president of the Texas Baptist Student Summer Missions Committee.
Palmer was named a Distinguished Alumnus by Logsdon School of Theology of HSU in 2000. In 2022, he received the Altom Christian Service Award from HSU.
He enjoyed fishing, golfing, reading, making and listening to music, watching movies, and was a faithful Dallas Cowboys fan.. However, above all, he loved spending time with his family. He not only took Stephanie on “dates”, but taught her how to throw a great spiral football, spotted her on countless back handsprings and aerials, and tried mightily to teach her to balance a checkbook. He took Michael on annual fishing trips, sang Kaspar to Michael’s Amahl in FBC’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, and was always up for a philosophical or theological conversation. He chaperoned countless band and choir trips. He and Patsy were active boosters for Jack Nall’s Awesome Cooper Band from 1981-1984 and were booster club presidents for Barbara Perkins’ Cooper choir from 1991-1992.
He lived out his faith and values in such a way that very little explicit teaching was required; his children “caught” their faith and character from the consistent examples of their dad and mom. He said, “I love you,” as naturally and almost as often as he breathed. The words most used by friends, family, and former students to describe him in these last days have been “kind”, “gentle”, “encourager”, “sweet friend”, “Christian gentleman”, and “faithful servant”.
Palmer was preceded in death by his mother and father Erma LaVerne and Walter Hooper McCown, by his parents-in-law Vivian Louise and Atwood Jason Jones, and by his sister-in-law Joanna Ching-Ping Wong Jones.
Palmer is survived by his wife of 61 ½ years Patsy McCown, daughter Stephanie Markgraf and husband Jim, son Michael McCown and wife Barb, sister Sue Thomas, grandsons Jon Michael and Christopher Markgraf, brother-in-law Bill Jones, niece Alison Jones Clements and husband Adam, nephew Travis Jones, nephew Chris Thomas and wife Jeanneth, great-nieces Avery Clements and Scarlet Jones, great-nephews Anderson and Aden Jones and Brandon Thomas.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Men’s Prayer Breakfast, Delbert Allred, Bill Altom, Richard Garner, Lynn Ingalsbe, Boyd King, Christopher Markgraf, Jim Markgraf, Jon Michael Markgraf, Billy Bob Neff, David Stovall, and Wayne Roy.
The family would be honored for memorials to be given to either of these ministries that were so close to Palmer's heart:
1) Texas Baptist Student Summer Missions
2) First Baptist Church, Abilene, Music Ministry
The family of Palmer McCown wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the staff, nurses, and doctors of M. D. Anderson and Texas Oncology. Heartfelt appreciation is also extended to the doctors, nurses, PCAs, and all the staff at Midland Memorial Hospital.
To our dear friends far and wide, long-standing and new, your outpourings of love and prayers continue to sustain us as we learn to live without our treasured husband, father, father-in-law, and “Pom”.
Finally, to our First Baptist Church, Abilene, family, you have always been and remain just that–family. For over four decades, you have guided, fed, taught, and shepherded us; interceded for us; rejoiced, laughed, and wept with us; sustained us; and given us your rich soil in which to put down roots that we might blossom, and then, for the younger of us, pick up our roots and, with the thousands that we have met throughout our post-Abilene journeys, share all that we absorbed from you. Thank you for still being our spiritual home and family . . . for it is with this uniquely loving, Christ-centered, and mission-active fellowship that our hearts remain.
Monday, January 2, 2023
4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)
The Hamil Family Funeral Home
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
First Baptist Church
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