Florence Christine Dunlap (Palmer), affectionately known as “Kris” passed away peacefully on January 29, 2020. Born in Springfield, MA, November 1, 1933, to Florence Palmer (Wright) and James H. Palmer,
Kris was the middle child between two loving brothers, Douglas W. (deceased) and James E. Palmer. Kris is survived by three sons, Jonathan, David and Christian and one daughter, Leslie. She leaves three daughters in law, Leesa, Deborah and Shari. Kris was devoted to her grandchildren, Jeffrey, Mark, Lindsey, Joe, Elisa, Christopher, James, Michael, Andrew, Elena and Jenna and great grandchildren, Anna, Jonathan and Clara.
Her brothers nicknamed her “Sister” and while attending the High School of Commerce, Springfield, MA, she met the love of her life, Earl Dunlap. In the days of Elvis and blue suede shoes, Earl’s suede shoes caught her attention as they rode the bus to and from school. As Kris waited for Earl to finish college and serve our country, she attended Bay Path Junior College in Springfield, MA. After receiving her Associates Degree, she worked as a secretary for various businesses. Married in 1956, Kris and Earl Dunlap have been inseparable for nearly 70 years.
Earl’s work took them to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and returned them to the northeast to settle in Riverside, RI. With many interests including reading, crafting, antiquing, painting, weaving, needlework and writing, Kris shared her hobbies with her four children and grandchildren. Her paintings, with oils, were sometimes mistaken for those of Monet and she was affectionately known for writing stories and beautiful letters to her family and friends. She was a cat lover, having Siamese cats for many years and later adopting a black and white cat lovingly named “Gateway”. Her life was filled with appreciating nature through bird watching, gardening, camping and trips to Roger Willams Zoo. She had an affinity for Cape Cod: the shells and sand, its libraries, antique stores, the Thornton Burgess museum and beautiful Sandwich Glass Cup Plates.
Returning to school when she was older than her professors, Kris earned a BA in English & History at the University of Rhode Island and graduated with the highest distinction. A devoted Christian, Kris taught Sunday School and wrote “The Bridge” newsletter for the Barrington Congregational Church. Her favorite scripture 1 John 4:7 was engraved on her wedding ring, “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” With her family growing, Kris still found time to volunteer at Bradley Hospital in Providence.
A true warrior, Kris was a two-time breast cancer survivor, staved off tongue cancer and gave Alzheimer’s a fight to the end. “Grammie”, as her grandchildren affectionately called her, never let any of these challenges turn her bitter, cause her to lose her faith or her sense of humor. She always put everyone else’s needs before her own. She was an advocate for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had so much fun being a “Grammie” and the children eagerly anticipated her visit with her famous bag of books and crafts. Her mantras; “do good work, never lose your sense of humor and adapt” have been adopted by her children and grandchildren alike.
A celebration of life will be held for Kris, Mom, Grammie on February 8, 2020 at 11:00 AM in the Smith-Mason Funeral Home, 398 Willett Avenue, Riverside, RI 02915. Visitation will precede the celebration from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Kris’ name can be made to:
Tockwotton on the Waterfront, 500 Waterfront Drive, East Providence, RI 02914,https://tockwotton.ejoinme.org/MyPages/TockwottonontheWaterfrontDonation/tabid/164635/Default.aspx
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, 34 Washington St., Suite 310, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 https://curealz.org/giving/donate/
To send flowers to Florence's family, please visit our floral section.