Mike and Karen Yates, Clifford and Windy Ponsock, Bob Pelton, Dave
Jamieson, Rick Lund, Martin Stiasny, Bruce Guimont, Mac Lopez, and
Rosalie, Rosalyn and Randy Wright and Tanya Hack.
Stanley Thomas Palmer
31 May 1943 - 13 October 2015
Stanley was a painter by trade, and he attacked that profession as he did the many other passions
it enabled him to pursue. He loved fast cars and motorcycles, pretty ladies, his dogs, the martial
arts, skiing, fishing, hunting with gun and bow and falcon, and just about any pursuit that would
put him in his natural element...the outdoors. Foremost among these was falconry. In 1967 at
a gas station in Sparks, Nevada, Stanley chanced upon a vehicle with a hooded goshawk in the
back. Thus began a lifelong friendship with Bob Pelton and the
fulfillment of a rewarding obsession he’d been unknowingly born
to. His birds were always utterly tame, and many occupied the house
with him. Junior, a beloved gyr/peregrine partner of 15+ years
who predeceased Stanley by a few days, often slept on an adjacent
pillow in his bedroom. He trained a female gyr/barbary to follow
his hand signals to find tidbits hed hidden around the house,
even successfully directing her to descend into the basement on
those missions. His birds were not only cherished companions but
accomplished game hawks that caught sage-grouse, pheasant, duck,
hun, quail and rabbit.
Stanley had a great sense of humor and an appreciation of the
absurd. His hawks and falcons were creatively named, beginning
with the first red-tail “Big Al. Stanley hawked quail through a car
window all around Sparks with a Cooper’s Hawk called “Weinie
Madea. A north African peregrine tiercel was Toto Jo. He dubbed Steve Baptistes German gos
“Thunderchicken. Dave Jamieson recalls a group of Reno falconers getting together for exercise
flights, and Stanley’s bird landing on the front of a car when cast off. Undeterred, he turned the
moment into comedy gold by exclaiming: “Who said he was hood-shy?” Stanley knew how to be
a friend, which was one of the reasons he had so many. He never spoke ill of others, and we never
heard unkind words spoken of him. His was a rich life, but he also enriched beyond measure the
lives of those fortunate enough to know him.
I have many fond memories of days spent with
Stan Palmer. He was there helping me rappel
down a cliff face when I took an eyas prairie out
of the nest. He had a good laugh at my fear of
heights and generously came down on the cliff
next to me to give me confidence. He enjoyed
my look of happiness when I tucked that little
fluff ball in my creel and let myself down to
the bottom of the cliff. We happily chased
pheasants and ducks in central Nevada, him
with his falcon and I with my goshawk. The gos
did better than the falcon on pheasants, and the
falcon better on ducks. We pursued sage-grouse
in the high desert. His new gyr/barbary falcon
took the first grouse at which she wasown.
We had many happy hawking days together.
One would be hard-pressed to find a nicer guy
than Stan. He was gentle and kind to his birds,
his dogs and his friends. He had a wonderful
smile and a hearty laugh that are missed by all
who knew him.
Stanley by
Cliff Ponsock
His birds were not only
cherished companions
but accomplished game
hawks that caught sage-
grouse, pheasant, duck,
hun, quail and rabbit.