Obituary: George Palm, longtime Lees executive, 50-year industry veteran

Home News Obituary: George Palm, longtime Lees executive, 50-year industry veteran

LUDINGTON, MICH.—George Alan Palm, a five-decade flooring industry veteran, died Sept. 2 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 85.

After serving as a B-25 pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, Palm graduated from Northwestern University in 1949 and joined his mother at The Palm Floor Covering Co.—one of the few women at that time to own and operate a flooring dealership.

Ultimately, he became a sales representative for James Lees & Sons Carpets in 1954, which began an association with the company that lasted more than three decades. After becoming part of Burlington Industries, the company changed its name to Lees Carpets in 1967. Palm worked for Lees as a territory manager for 33 years in Marietta and Columbus, Ohio, and Midland, Mich. Upon retirement in 1987, he was self-employed as a certified carpet inspector until 1999.

“He was well thought of by his customers,” said his wife, Marjorie. “I still occasionally see some of them. He was a true professional. His former customers have said since he retired, nobody has serviced them like George did.”

Joe Eisler, former president of Lees Carpets, said of Palm, “George’s major territory was Columbus, Ohio, where he had the Lazarus department store as an account. At that time in the flooring industry, department stores were king. So George was the key man for one of the larger Lees accounts. He did a fine job. He was very knowledgeable and knew everybody in the store—from the carpet installers to the interior designers to the buyers to the vice presidents, all the way up. He knew his business.”

Palm is survived by Marjorie, his wife of 60 years; two daughters, Kittie Palm-Houser and Ellen Vascik; son George; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be sent to Emanuel Lutheran Church, 501 E. Danaher St., Ludington, MI 49431.

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