Walter Cary Palmer III

Walter Cary Palmer III passed away on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at Riverside Hospital after a brief illness. He celebrated his 95th birthday just two weeks ago.

Walter Cary was born in Saluda on November 29, 1926, the son of Sudie and Walter Cary Palmer, Jr.; however, he spent most of his life on the Peninsula. He graduated from the former Morrison High School, Augusta Military Academy, and attended Randolph Macon College. He was a veteran of WWII in the Army Air Force, serving in the Philippines and Japan, and returned to the Peninsula after his tour of duty.

He worked for several local realtors before establishing his own Real Estate and Independent Insurance company, Ballou & Palmer, which operated in Newport News for over 35 years. Early in his career, he was a member of the Board of the First Federal Savings & Loans as well as a member of the Newport News School Board. He was also a charter member of the Kiwanis Club in Newport News and a VP of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and made significant contributions to the development of Newport News Shipyard as well as Busch Gardens.

Besides his civic contributions, he was a communicant of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Newport News as well as a member of the Christ Church community in Middlesex. He was also a member of the Warwick Yacht Club spending summers “under the shed” with his family and friends. Those who knew Walter knew that he was an avid outdoorsman, a prolific gardener, loved his Labradors Sam and Mike, and spent his retirement years watching the sunsets over the Piankatank River with a gin and tonic in hand.

He was predeceased by his wife Peggy, to whom he was married for over 68 years, and is survived by his three daughters and son-in-law; Ann Palmer Via of Richmond, Liz Palmer Keplesky of Westport, CT, and Susan and George Harlow Jr. of Richmond as well as 6 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

A true gentleman in every sense of the word, he will be missed.

A graveside service will be held on Monday, December 20, 2021, at 11:00 am at Peninsula Memorial Park in Newport News.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint Andrews Episcopal Church ( or Christ Church (

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *