Deborah "Deb" Palmeri, 64, passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2021.
Deb was born in Easthampton, MA on June 20, 1956, the daughter of Fredrick and Emily Renkowicz. Deb devoted her professional life to nursing, enjoying a distinguished career. She graduated from Holyoke Hospital School Nursing in 1977. She worked at Holyoke Hospital and Farren Hospital before she became an emergency room nurse at Franklin Medical Center in 1980. While working at FMC she earned her B.S.N. at the College of Our Lady of the Elms and an M.S.N. from the University of Hartford. After many years as an Operations Manager and Nurse Manager she was promoted to Director of Nursing in 2003 and Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Patient Care in 2006, a position she held until 2013. She was most recently the Practical Nursing Program Coordinator at Greenfield Community College since 2016. Deb took great pride in passing on her knowledge to future generations of nurses.
Deb's devotion to nursing was surpassed only by her devotion to her family. Through her classmate Judy (Palmeri) Richardson she met the love of her life, Joseph "Joe" Palmeri whom she married in 1977. She was a dedicated mother who always made time for "her boys." In recent years, Deb's true passion in life was realized as being "Nonna" to her grandchildren. She relished that role and was exceptional in every way for her "best buddies ever," leaving a legacy of unconditional love. She never forgot a birthday or anniversary and always went the extra mile to make family gatherings and holidays special. She touched so many lives through her generosity, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
Deb is survived by her devoted husband Joe, two sons; Brian Palmeri and his wife Lisa of Branford, CT; Matthew Palmeri and his wife Chelsea of Shelburne, MA; her brother Dennis Renkowicz and his wife Karen of Westhampton, MA; her sister, Dianne (Renkowicz) Gay and her husband Steve of Feeding Hills, MA; two grandsons, Brayden and Lawson Palmeri, and several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held Monday, April 19 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 40 Church Street, Shelburne Falls, MA. Social Distancing and masks are required.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Church in Shelburne Falls.
A public graveside memorial celebration will take place Tuesday April 20 at 1:00 p.m., in the Hill Cemetery, Old Village Rd., Shelburne, MA.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to the Deborah Palmeri Memorial Scholarship Fund. Send donations to Palmeri Fund c/o GCC Foundation, 1 College Dr., Greenfield MA 01301 or visit www.gcc.mass.edu/give
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