Remembering Douglas W. Palmer III, 1941-2021

Family and friends are remembering Douglas W. Palmer III and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Douglas Wylie Palmer III
January 10, 1941 – October 29, 2021

Douglas “Doug” Wylie Palmer III, 80, born in West Seattle on January 10, 1941, to Douglas Wylie Palmer II and Alezena Francis Riley (née Spanier), died at home in Port Townsend, Washington, surrounded by family, on October 29, 2021.

Doug grew up in West Seattle; lured by the prospect of good fishing, Doug followed his best friends to Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology. While in college, he was inspired by President JFK’s speech about the Peace Corps, joined, and was stationed in The Philippines for three years. He taught biology and botany at St. Mary’s School in Sagada, Mountain Province, where he met and married his wife, Diklawan Sylvia Solang.

After earning his master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, Doug started his 28-year career as a public-health officer with USAID. His assignments brought him and his family to Vietnam, Cameroon, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and The Philippines.

After “retiring,” Doug and his family moved to Port Townsend and he took up a number of contract public-health positions with non-governmental organizations overseas. He worked with Project HOPE in Central Asia and Management Sciences for Health in Afghanistan for 14 years. He also worked aboard crab-processing boats in Alaska.

Doug was curious, adventurous, and an avid traveler. He enjoyed experiencing other cultures, appreciated art, was a passionate reader and archivist, and a collector of many things including stamps, fishing lures, aerogrammes, and artifacts from around the world.

In his last few years, Doug enjoyed playing pickleball, selling artifacts on eBay, cataloging photos and other memorabilia, telling stories of his many adventures, and fishing at his favorite spot — Point Wilson at Fort Worden.

Doug is survived and loved by his wife, Diklawan Sylvia Solang Palmer; his sons, Wylie Solang Palmer, Anton Degay Spanier Palmer, Evan Pekdasen Palmer; and daughter, Odawni Alezena Joy Palmer Sotka; and seven grandkids. He is also survived by his brother, Terry Spanier Palmer, and sister, Pam Palmer Lee.

Per Doug’s wishes, his body was donated for scientific research. There will be a memorial in honor of Doug in the next year when his family receives his ashes. Details to follow at a later time.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

5 Replies to "Remembering Douglas W. Palmer III, 1941-2021"

  • Smoosh December 29, 2021 (7:19 pm)

    Cheers to a life clearly well lived.

  • NW Mama December 29, 2021 (8:23 pm)

    Sounds like a good man whom I would have liked to know.   Rest in peace.

  • Scrappy December 30, 2021 (1:27 am)

    God speed Doug. You crammed many lifetimes into one with grace, humor, and wonder. You will be missed… RIP.

  • Allison December 30, 2021 (12:15 pm)

    My condolences for your loss.  What a beautiful life he lived.  Thank you for sharing.

  • Linda L. BLACKINTON (Thurston) January 18, 2022 (8:05 pm)

    Doug was a classmate at West Seattle High School, after spending many years at Catholic schools in the Seattle area.  He wanted to spend a year or two with the neighborhood kids.  He was witty, smart, and could really tell a story or two after being in Afghanistan.  His family is the best, and I wish them well.  I hope they will write his story, as he hoped to do so someday.  We all need to tell our stories.his friend, Linda Blackinton WSHS ’59

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