Jacqueline Zeuch Palmer

[ Age 85 ] Educator co-founded St. James Academy in Monkton.

April 23, 2007

Jacqueline Zeuch Palmer, an educator and avid square dancer, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Tuesday at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville. She was 85.

Mrs. Palmer was a co-founder and director of St. James Academy in Monkton. The school started in the late 1950s with 12 students, said her husband, Max Palmer.

Mrs. Palmer was director of the school until 1963. She then taught at St. Paul's School for Girls in Brooklandville until 1969.

Jacqueline Zeuch was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology in 1942. A year later, she met her husband, and the two married in 1945, even though the majority of their interaction was through letters.

"We got to be better acquaintances with each than if I were there with her," said Mr. Palmer, who was in the military and stationed overseas.

The Palmers moved to Monkton after Mr. Palmer left the Navy in 1953. He worked for a division of General Motors.

The couple lived in Monkton until moving to Ossining, N.Y., in 1969. Mrs. Palmer worked there as a teacher at Scarborough School until 1973, then worked as an accountant for a hospital for 10 years.

Mrs. Palmer volunteered as a treasurer and secretary for a number of churches before the couple moved back to Maryland in 1992.

Mrs. Palmer and her husband also took part in square dance competitions for years until 1990.

"She always had an outside activity," Mr. Palmer said.

The couple lived in Catonsville for a year before moving to Charlestown, where Mrs. Palmer served for a time as president of the resident council.

"She was always a leader," said her daughter, Lucinda DiLeo of Gainesville, Fla. "She was a Renaissance woman."

Services were yesterday at Charlestown.

In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by a son, David Allen Palmer of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.

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