ARLEE — Nadine Palmer Espinoza's sweet soul left this earth May 13, 2018, and she was released from the grip Alzheimer's had on her over the last several years.
Nadine, the youngest child of Russell and Clara Palmer, was born Jan. 11, 1935, in Glen Rose, Texas. With her family she moved to Lake Worth, Texas, where she attended elementary school and graduated high school. Nadine excelled in school and graduated a year early before starting college at Texas Wesleyan College.
Having learned a strong work ethic at a young age, Nadine was always a hard worker and had numerous jobs throughout her life including Instructional aide at Arlee Schools, Partners in Home Care and U.S. Postal Service. Before Alzheimer's took her memory, she could tell you the box number or address of anyone in her delivery area.
Being a grandmother was her favorite job. She would often have one or more grandchildren at her house.
She enjoyed playing games with them and they especially enjoyed when she played Catch Phrase because her laugh was uncontrollable and contagious.
Shy by nature, she was most comfortable when she was in service to others in her family, community, and church. She will be remembered for having a very active role in the Catholic church in Arlee and St. Ignatius where she belonged to the Altar Society, played the organ, taught religious classes, was a Eucharistic minister, and served in any other capacity where she was needed. She always had a giving spirit and rarely let visitors leave her home without her giving them something.
In 1953, while out with her high school friends in Fort Worth, Texas, she met a tall Montana boy named Pablo "Sarge" Espinoza who was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base. After a short courtship they were married Oct. 31, 1953, maybe that’s why she so enjoyed Halloween. Together they raised four children, Pablo "Chib" Espinoza (Deb), Paula (Prentis) Wofford, Loretta (Gregg) Willoughby, and Donnetta (Dave) Stephan. Most of her married life was spent in Montana but Texas never left her heart, she returned to Texas as often as she could to visit family and friends. Winters were always an adjustment even after all those years.
Nadine was preceded in death by her parents, husband of 49 years Sarge, brother Berl Palmer, sister and brother-in-law Dorothy and Mark Like, brother-in-law Otis Sterling and niece Peggy Like Isabel. She is survived by her sister Frances Sterling of Amarillo, Texas, sister-in-law Margaret (Hosea) Stewart of Coolidge, Arizona, brother-in-laws Dib (Val) Espinoza, Pat Espinoza and Lolita (Drew) Hendrickson; her four children and their spouses all of Arlee; grandchildren Tia Espinoza, Travis (Caitlyn) Espinoza, Tiffany (Trevor) Naugle, Tabby (Jake Springer) Espinoza, Todd (Stephanie) Espinoza, Caleb Wofford, Heather Wofford, Jackie Miller, Gabe Goeres (Chelsea Maroney), Adrianna (Lee) Starck, Ethan (Adele Reissing) Willoughby; great-grandchildren Paley and Finn Goodwin-Espinoza, Anola and Aaron Naugle, Arlo Espinoza, Audrey Espinoza, Jack and Charlie Miller, Henry Starck and Ollie Goeres Nadine also leaves behind her best friend, Evalyn Ivanoff, or as the grandchildren knew her "my friend Evalyn"(as Nadine fondly referred to her). Evalyn, who through the darkest hour was always there, always called and was the keeper of all Nadine’s secrets. She had many nieces and nephews who were dear to her as well as step-grandchildren and their families who she always counted as her family.
Services: At the request of the family, there will be no viewing. Rosary will be Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Jocko Church. Funeral services will be Saturday, May 19 at 11 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church in Arlee. Burial will be at the Jocko Cemetery. Reception will follow at the Sacred Heart Church in Arlee.