Peyton Lee Palmore III

  • Born: August 20, 1927
  • Died: December 28, 2014
  • Location: Arlington, Virginia


171 Maple Avenue W
Vienna, VA 22180
Tel. (703) 938-7440

Tribute & Message From The Family

Born April, 20, 1927 in Kobe, Japan of missionary parents, Peyton Palmore who was a fourth generation missionary to Japan died December 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. Home schooled in Japan, he entered the third grade in Richmond, Virginia because the impending WW II caused the relocation of his father, Lee Palmore to the Virginia Annual Conference of the (then) Southern Methodist Church. Public schools in Crew, Arlington, and Roanoke prepared him to enroll in Randolph-Macon College in 1944. A year of electronics training in the Navy was sandwiched into his academic training enabling him to graduate with the Class of 1948. Although strongly attracted to the sciences, he decided to respond to General Macarthur's call for "A thousand missionaries to help rebuild Japan" and enrolled as a volunteer short term "J-3" program of the United Methodist Church. This experience led him to enroll in Yale Divinity School where he trained to be ordained and was sent with his wife Mary Lou Hind to Japan in 1954. After two years of language school training they were assigned to Nagoya where they established the Higashi Church of the Nihon Kirisuto (Japan Christian United Church). During the next several years they established several churches, engaged in educational work and helped to establish the Nagoya International School. He was a leader in the Nojiri Lake Association community. In 1974 they returned to America and Peyton became a pastor in the Virginia Conference in 1975, serving Springfield, Vienna, and Nokesville. He was divorced from Mary Lou and then married Susan Korte in 1983. Leaving the pastoral ministry he picked up on his long time love of "fixing things" by starting a successful business as a self-employed Home Repair Handyman. Peyton and Susan spent much of their time together roaming the four corners of the earth and discovering many wonders traveling by land and sea. Susan chronicled each trip in a treasured scrap book that Peyton continued to enjoy even in the last days of his life. He definitely saw the world! Most recently as he settled into retirement he spent his free time volunteering: as a Japanese language mentor; as a repairman for Doorways for Women & Families; with the Brain Foundation; and repairing Bikes for the World. He is survived by his wife Susan Korte Palmore; his brother Erdman Palmore of Chapel Hill, NC; and his sister Jeannie Nelson of Palo Alto, CA and by his daughters Christy Palmore of San Francisco, CA, Paula Palmore (Robert Buckley) and Ginger Bennett (Pat) of Northern Virginia, and Kimberly Campbell (Glenn) of Indian Head, MD; and 5 grandchildren Katie, Paul, Charlie, Samantha, and Peyton.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I called you a friend, I called you family, I called you grandpa, I called you a friend to me for all those years when I was young. I don't know what I would do without you and still don't know what I do without you. It leaves my heart with a small hole inside, leaving that hole with memories filled of joy and happiness for all those years I had with you. Searching for Dino tracks and eggs in the park, or going out for lunch of my birthday, or just hanging out you were always the best person to be around. I lift and remember you in my heart, and I lift your soul to the stars Grandpa. I miss you so much and wish you were still here.

Sincerely, Peyton Buckley

Posted by Peyton Buckley - Annandale, VA - Grandchild   November 05, 2017

You, Peyton Lee, were the greatest benefactor a man could ever have. I recall that day in the summer of 1952 when you (covered with poison ivy!) roared into my life. Remember? You had ridden your motorcycle down from Yale to be a counselor at Camp Wakanda, our Winchester, Virginia, Methodist district youth camp, where I was an 18-year-old junior counselor.Your love of Japan was palpable—and contagious. As you talked about Japan and your life as a J-3, I caught the bug. During that brief but near-magical association with you then, I made the decision to follow in your footsteps to Japan as a J-3, which I fulfilled on finishing college four years later. No one has had as profound effect on my life as you, Peyton Lee. You launched me on the road to a fulfilling life and career in Japan, the road which also led me to my beloved wife of 50+ years. For opening the floodgate of blessings that have flowed into my life, I owe you more than I can ever repay. And the days and years we shared after finding each other again in our “retirement” in Virginia allowed me to become a close friend of one of the kindest, most thoughtful men I have ever met.Goodbye for now, beloved Senpai. I’ll catch up with you again later

Posted by John - VA   January 16, 2015

We are truly saddened by the sudden loss of Peyton, especially after seeing him on Christmas morning when he seemed so “chipper.” We’ve known Peyton and Susan for close to 30 years. We have utilized Peyton’s handyman skills at our home to finish the octagonal windows in the storage shed, to build the space under the stairs, and to repair numerous projects over the years. He always made coming to fix something at our home a priority which was greatly appreciated. He also repaired so many things over the years in the Teenage Parenting Program of Arlington Public Schools. His quick smile, firm hugs, and zest for life will be missed.

Posted by Marilyn and Russ Scholl - Arlington, VA   January 14, 2015

Uncle Peyton has always had a special place in my heart. He would tell me stories of the things he and his sister, Louisa (my mom), would do, like having swimming races in Lake Nojiri. He & Susan became a personal support to me in 1983 when I moved to Richmond with my son, Richard Henry(1yr), following a divorce. Then after my marriage to Brant and becoming a pastor's wife, he was always a source of comfort and wisdom when I needed a listening ear. We made 2 visits to Alexandria and were always blessed! They were also faithful in attending family events like my son Nathan's wedding. I know he is enjoying fellowship with the Lord and his many family members in heaven...but I feel a hole in my heart knowing I will not be able to have those warm and loving affirmations only he knew how to give!! Bless you Susan, Christy, Paula, Ginger & Kim and also to you, Uncle Erdman and Aunt Jeannie, as you miss your brother. Rest in the peace, love & joy of our Lord, Uncle Peyton. Your niece, Beeza.

Posted by Barbara Louisa Hays (Pickard) - Heathsville, VA   January 14, 2015

Carolee and I extend our condolences to the family of Peyton Palmore.

In each of our lives, there are people whose actions alter the course of our life. For me, and for other missionary kids raised in Nagoya in the 1960's, Peyton Palmore was one of those people. Together with a handful of others, including my father Gaylen Gilbertson, Arlene Kelly, Stan Manierre, Clark Offner, Claire Baldwin and others, he was a "founder of Nagoya International School, which became the center of our ex-pat community in Nagoya.

Without NIS, the course of my life would have been very different. No doubt, my family would have moved back to the U.S., and my Japan connection would have been broken, leading to a very different career and life. More importantly, I probably would not have met my wife Carolee Matsumoto, since NIS was our original connection. So thank you, Mr. Palmore!

I have many memories of Mr. Palmore, as we knew him in those days. Just one is that it was he who called us on the morning of November 23, 1963 (Japan time) to tell us of the assassination of President Kennedy.

In the past two years, Carolee and I were privileged to visit with Peyton and Susan a couple of times at their Arlington home. Having only known Peyton, an adult, when I myself was a kid, it was fun now to speak to him man-to-man. I think he got a kick out of that too! We focused on his memories of NIS, but our conversations were wide-ranging. I learned a lot about the early missionaries to Japan, and Peyton's own story. Unfortunately, the conversations were much too short.

Peyton was pleased to hear that his beloved sailboat Soyokaze is still at Lake Nojiri, and in the good hands of my brother Loren.

Soyokaze translates as light breeze. No doubt, Peyton is out there enjoying a light breeze as he sails to the other side of eternity.

Farewell Mr. Palmore! You were a good man with a big heart, and will certainly rest in peace.

Posted by David Gilbertson - New Bedford, MA   January 07, 2015

Dear Susan and Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Although I did not know him well, I was always blessed by our times together at family times and weddings. I particularly appreciated him attending our daughter Laura's wedding, and representing her grandmother's family. He was always warm and positive. I loved to hear him and his siblings describe memories of their childhood and share their love of the Lord and of music with us. What a sweet man he was and I know he will be missed so much. May the Lord greatly comfort you all. Much love, Kim (Keene's wife)

Posted by Kim Pickard - Midlothian, VA   January 06, 2015

We are deeply saddened to hear of sudden loss of Payton (Pal-san). He will always be remembered as a great friend and a mentor.
We have so many happy memories of spending time with him at Japanese lessons. He have taught us that learning is a big part of what makes life interesting. We will miss him terribly...
With much love and sympathy,

Posted by Tamaki & Shinya Nishimura - Arlington, VA - Friend   January 06, 2015

We were blessed to call Peyton (and Susan) family, through the marriage of his daughter, Paula Jean. We are sadden by this news of his passing, yet smile to know heaven has gained a beautiful & quick smile, a forever-positive outlook, and an angel who will be remembered for his un-ending Christian-love and respect for his fellow man. We recall his stories he proudly told of his daughters & his travels and also the kindness we witnessed him extending to a stranger he encounter in his day. What a loving-memory he will forever be for so many! We are so so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Laura (Buckley) Cowan - Austin, TX   January 06, 2015

Dear Mrs. Palmore,

I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May God continue to bless and keep you and your family.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Jacquelin Portis-Joyner
Arlington Career Center

Posted by Jacquelin Portis-Joyner - Arlington,, VA - Colleague   January 05, 2015

I was very saddened to learn of Peyton's passing. He was an avid learner, taking our courses in subjects as disparate as Economic Issues and Gilbert & Sullivan. I remember his voice as clear as day. I do so wish I had known his background in Japan and WWII. We had more in common than I ever knew when he was with us.

Posted by Marjorie Varner - Arlington, VA - Encore Learning   January 05, 2015

Paru-san (Peyton's Japanese name) was a kind, thoughtful, and generous man. Although my family and I only knew him for the last few years of his long life, he made a lasting impact on us. We got to know Paru-san through his volunteer work with our community Japanese language group for children. Paru-san read traditional Japanese stories to the kids and regaled them with tales of life in old Japan. He remembered all the lullabies and fairy tales from his time as a child there. His knowledge of Japan was encyclopedic and his Japanese language perfect.

Paru-san also came and fixed things around our house all the time. Just a few months ago he climbed under our kitchen sink to add a new valve for us. I was amazed how quickly he could come up with a lasting solution to any problem from a stuck closet door to a hole in the bathroom wall.

Paru-san was always a pleasure to talk to - full of good cheer and wisdom. He was very interested in other people. He asked many questions and listened intently. When he talked to our two young daughters his face lit up with delight and surprise at their discoveries. I feel truly blessed and very grateful to have known him. He often spoke of Susan and his daughters. He always said how lucky he was to have such a caring family. I wish Susan and the rest of his family strength in their time of need.

Posted by Tomomi Kinnard - Arlington, VA - Friends   January 05, 2015

My heart is saddened to hear of the loss a Good Man, Peyton Palmore. My Sincere Condolences to the family. I met Peyton a few years while servicing the Palmore’s computer. During the last several years, we have shared many conversations about life. I came to see Peyton as a brilliant Mind and a Man of Great Integrity. His life has demonstrated caring, sharing, and a spirit always willing to help others. I shall miss you my friend. I feel fortunate to have known you and I am grateful to have shared our many conversations. Your Life has been a life that has truly made a difference in Many lives. May God Cover and Console Susan and family during a difficult loss.

Posted by Timothy Bolden - Upper Marlboro, MD   January 04, 2015

Prayers for you all in your loss. Peyton and his willingness to fix anything broken were a blessing to St. Andrew's Church. He will be missed and I will miss our impromptu God conversations.

Posted by The Rev. Jenny Montgomery - Arlington, VA   January 03, 2015

I met Peyton seven years ago when I began serving on the Buildings & Grounds Committee of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. We often needed a good handyman, and Peyton was cited to me as our go-to guy. Each year Peyton did much good work on the campus of St. Andrew's. He kindly reduced each bill by a '10% pastoral discount.' Peyton and I enjoyed lively conversations, most recently on Laura Hillenbrand's 'Unbroken' and a Japanese performance artist. Rest in peace, dear friend. May your memory be eternal. Jim

Posted by James A. Williams - Arlington, VA   January 03, 2015

Our best to you Susan. I'm communicating to as many as I can with the news.

Posted by wayne H. Cowan - MA   January 03, 2015

What a dear dear person the world has lost. Peyton was an absolute delight to work with – his perpetual optimism, positive spirit, and sense of humor made any of our handyman tasks pleasant to tackle together. I will miss him greatly. Peyton was a special member of our Doorways’ family and I feel so fortunate to have known him and worked with him the last several years. With much love, Susan Hennessy Facilities Manager Doorways for Women and Families

Posted by Susan Hennessy - Arlington, VA   January 03, 2015

It always amazes me the depth of knowledge you have of the Japanese culture. I know this comes from your childhood in Japan. And you always speak of it and your time there with your family with a smile on your face. You share your father's kindness and generosity of time and talent to your family and friends. You have honored him.

Posted by Arlene Diehl - Bristow, VA   January 03, 2015

All too rarely do you come across someone who is unfailingly kind and gracious to virtually everyone around them, regardless of station. Peyton was one of those rare individuals. Aside from that uncommon quality, I will miss Peyton's cheerful, positive nature, as I will surely miss his many stories of Japan and his extensive travels with Susan throughout the world. My favorite quote by Abraham Lincoln is, "Death is but an horizon, and an horizon is but the limit of our sight." Rather than looking at things as Peyton having passed away, I'm going to think of him as now being in some wonderful place, beyond the horizon, away on another great adventure.

Posted by Scott Shelton - Arlington, VA   January 02, 2015

Thank you for your service of spreading the gospel to japan. You are an inspiration to me and of course everyone who has experienced sukiaki. Love you

Posted by richard henry - covington, VA   January 02, 2015

Uncle Peyton Lee was my mother's brother and I have known him all my life. After my high school graduation in India, I visited him in Japan, along with some friends, and was amazed to discover that he had arranged for us to stay overnight at a Buddhist Monastery! Very educational! We also enjoyed our visit with him and Lou at their home. I will always remember Uncle Peyton Lee's enthusiastic personality and sense of humor. He had a very nice voice and took the time to record himself singing the favorite "Palmore" songs of his youth. Since I know a lot of those songs, I enjoy singing along with him and harmonizing! Remember "Bill Jones Baby"? I will miss you, Uncle Peyton Lee.

Posted by Jeanna Shade - Toledo, OH   January 01, 2015


Peyton and his family were our neighbors in Nagoya, Japan, when we were married in 1961.with Christy serving as our flower girl. Many years have passed by since then, but we will always have a special place in our hearts for the joy of knowing Peyton and his family. Peyton had a deep love for Japan and was committed to all those he served in his ministry. May God's love and comfort sustain all those who grieve at his passing, especially his daughters and grandchildren, as you are filled with the happy memories of your times at Lake Nojiri and other precious moments with your father and grandfather.
George and Yoko Gish, still in Tokyo, Japan.

Posted by George and Yoko Gish - Tokyo, Japan - Old friends   January 01, 2015

Your in our thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful life he led.

Posted by Renee Vaughn - Nokesville, VA   January 01, 2015

Peyton gifted the world with his loving daughter, Virginia, and his grand daughter Samantha. The spiritual foundation he provided them echoes across time and distance to me in that their love for each other and their caring natures I've witnessed repeatedly. Though this life remains a short thing, clear remains the love you left behind when you gave of your heart and your spiritual passion that you instilled in Virginia and Samantha. Such love, personified by these two, can never cease, and most certainly such spiritual power will continue to mark this world in perpetuity.

Posted by Tom Neel - Fairfax, VA   December 31, 2014

My Uncle Peyton and Aunt Lou were instrumental in getting me my job teaching English in Japan. I'll never forget arriving there after a long flight, finally falling to sleep only to be awakened by Peyton knocking on the hotel door saying "I know you're up" and taking me to climb Mt. Fuji (didn't make it to the top that time!). Years later he proudly said he had a proprietary interest in my career since he helped get it started! It was always a treat as a child to await the times Peyton, Lou and the girls came back to the U.S. I always knew Uncle Peyton would bring vibrance and fun to our visits. I love the thought of him on Nojiri-ko since I remember going to the Palmore cabin when I first went in 1973. Thanks for the image Ginger! Congratulation, Uncle Peyton on winning the race. Your niece, Jeanne

Posted by Jeanne Hind - Denver, CO   December 31, 2014

He loved to tell stories. I asked him where he wanted to be as he lay on the hospital bed in his last hours. He said "On Lake Norjiri (our summer cabin in Japan) on our sail boat in a race going around the last bouy and being in first place." I know many of you can understand the simple pleasure of being on a sail boat with the wind flowing through the sails; the exhilaration, the ease, the finish line coming...perhaps that's why he shared that image with me--he saw that he was about to cross the line--to the race's end--and he would finish in first place. This, for me, is a beautiful image of the "finish", a wonderful metaphor for all time, for a life well lived. He saw the peace and the joy and love on that beloved lake...this is a very powerful image and it makes it easier for me to say good bye.

Posted by Virginia, Patrick and Samantha Bennett - Fairfax, VA   December 31, 2014