SLINGERLANDS, NY – Melissa Lord McCandless Palmer, 95, died peacefully on February 10, 2023 after a brief illness. She was surrounded by her loving family.
Melissa was born on December 2, 1927, in Hartford, CT, to George Frank Lord and Katrina Bittinger Lord, and grew up in Gt. Barrington, MA. Devoted wife of the late Dr. Frederick D. McCandless and then the late Edward Delancey (Buzz) Palmer, Melissa is survived by two children, Erick McCandless (Antoinette) of Altamont, NY, and Sarah (Frank) Slingerland of Glenmont, NY, and two step-children, Andy (Onnie) Palmer of Menemsha, MA, and Laurie (Debbie) Palmer of Santa Cruz, CA, as well as three grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by her brother Frederick Lord, daughter Trina McCandless and step-son David Palmer.
Melissa was educated at the Searles High School, Gt. Barrington, MA, valedictorian of the class of 1945, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1949, where she majored in Chemistry and Art. She also earned a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Johns Hopkins University.
She worked as an occupational therapist, as Business and Company Manager of the Theater Arts Department at SUNY Albany, later serving on the Board of NYS Theater Institute, and was bookkeeper and office manager for Del Palmer Real Estate and Appraisal, Inc.
Melissa was very active in the Albany community, including the City of Albany Tricentennial Parade Committee, and as a member of the Junior League of Albany, involved in their many activities, later becoming a Sustainer. She loved gardening and was an award-winning flower arranger as a long-time, active member of the Fort Orange Garden Club, for which she also served as President. She was a member of the Bethlehem Public Library Board and taught English as a Second Language (ESL).
Melissa enjoyed escaping with her family to the Winnisook Club in the Catskills, Hewletts Landing at Lake George, Lake Placid and Cape Cod, as well as the long-time family cottage on the Stockbridge Bowl. An intrepid world traveler, always happy for an adventure, she undertook many trips with her devoted friend and former college roommate Elizabeth (Buzzy) Reynolds of Virginia. An avid reader of many genres, Melissa enjoyed the Friday Morning Club and the books that were presented. She greatly enjoyed live theater and graced the stage in her earlier years, and loved going to the symphony.
Melissa was a generous and welcoming hostess, a great conversationalist with a curious and inquiring mind. She loved animals including her many cats, several dogs and a monkey. Melissa was a talented painter of landscapes and portraits, a bridge and cribbage player, a skier and tennis player. She was a comfort, joy and companion to two husbands, a mom who welcomed all of her children all the time, including their many animals. A feisty woman who lived a long and complex life, Melissa survived many griefs and persisted as a stable, centrifugal force in her family. She will be sorely missed by many.
Calling hours will be held at Applebee Funeral Home, 403 Kenwood Ave., Delmar, NY, on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 2:00-5:00 PM. Private funeral services will be held by the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Melissa to: WMHT, 4 Global View, Troy, NY, 12180 or to the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave., Menands, NY, 12204.