Gaylen Charles Palmer

Gaylen Charles Palmer

9/6/1953 – 10/30/2021

Gaylen Charles Palmer, a good man with a big heart and quick wit, left us too soon. Regardless of circumstances, the deal made with Gaylen was to say, “he died doing what he loved.” This truly was the case, as he spent a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon out and about, chatting up neighbors, friends, and family.

He was born in Provo, Utah to Lawrence Melvin Palmer and Edith Josephine Poulson Palmer on September 6, 1953. Gaylen grew up in Orem, Utah and graduated from Orem High School. His middle name Charles was after his beloved grandfather Poulson. They were buddies. He was the youngest of five children, and often referred to himself as “the good-looking one.” He passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 30, 2021. 

Gaylen filled his life with adventures e.g., running an auto repair, fishing for brine shrimp, catching the drive-in trunk stowaways, starting his own pizza business, and being the trustworthy “car man” for so many. But his true passion was always radio. 

Gaylen a.k.a. “Chuck Cooper” started his radio career in the early 1970s at KIXX and KEYY. He spent much of his life in radio broadcasting as air personality, talk host, and operations and station manager. He was owner-operator of a station in Grants, New Mexico. His voice filled the airways at the likes of KKAT, KTKK, KLVV “the love station,” KLCY, KALL, and KBCK radio. He played the hits, informed and debated current events, and handily interviewed musicians, athletes and politicians alike. 

He followed the Palmer family tradition to marry up when he wed Laurel Warner on February 16, 1990, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was caring and giving and would do anything he could to help anyone in need. He was an organ donor. His near 24/7 care of his mother at the end of her life made possible her great desire to stay in her own home. The Oregon Coast and Crystal Cove, California were favorite destinations.

Gaylen always had something to say. He was clever with a keen sense of humor. We will miss his engaging, affable chats, his view of the world, his decency and goodness, his generosity, and his ability to make us laugh and see life through a friendly lens.

Gaylen was predeceased by his parents and parents-in-law, Don and Ellen Warner. He is survived by his wife, Laurel Warner Palmer, Salt Lake City; siblings L. Merrill (Marilyn) Palmer, Saint George Utah; Gary M. (Karen) Palmer, Santa Cruz, California; Karen (James) Johnson, Arvada, Colorado; Bruce W. (Kaye) Palmer, Lindon, Utah; and many well-loved nieces and nephews. 

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2021, City View Mortuary, 1001 11th Ave, Salt Lake City. Following that service, another of Gaylen’s wishes will be fulfilled as a trumpet cortege will make its way down Salt Lake City Cemetery Center Street to “the spot with a view.” Memories and condolences may be posted at cityviewmortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests a donation to a charity of your choice.

6 Comments
  • Christopher Palmer
    Posted at 20:40h, 03 November Reply

    Gaylen looms so large in our family lore. His world-class teasing was indiscriminate; to be teased by Gaylen was to be loved by Gaylen. He was an equal-opportunity offender, which equalized any room he was in and brought everyone closer. Through all the wit was a certain steadiness, loyalty, and wisdom. I could never get enough Gaylen.

  • Harriet Mazer
    Posted at 21:24h, 03 November Reply

    Funny, grumpy Gaylen. I will continue to celebrate both our birthdays on September 6gnna miss you.

  • Sandra Rees
    Posted at 09:44h, 04 November Reply

    I worked and went on a few dates with Gaylon in 1979. While he was working at KEYY and Utah Valley Motors.. He was a lot of fun and such a kind person. Lots of love and prayers to his wife and family.

  • Bruce Rees
    Posted at 09:50h, 04 November Reply

    Lots of great memories. Gaylen always came with a smile and a story. He will be greatly missed.

  • barbara a belman
    Posted at 15:10h, 04 November Reply

    Laurel & family,
    I am so shocked and saddened to hear of Gaylen’s passing I knew him through the car business and enjoyed his friendship and awesome stories. His wit and sense of humor was awesome. I hope your fond memories help you through this difficult time.
    Sincere condolences and Sadness! 🙁
    Barb Belman

  • Sonya
    Posted at 23:05h, 09 November Reply

    Laurel, we were so sorry to hear of your loss today. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
    Sonya and Freny

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