Corsicana Daily Sun
Walter “Wally” Palma, Jr., 69, of Kerens passed away Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. He was born April 11, 1944 to Walter Palma and Janette Skrzypczyk in Detroit, Mich.
Mr. Palma earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute and in 1962 began his career at General Motors. In 1970, he joined Guardian Industries during the construction of its first float glass plant in Carleton, Mich. as a maintenance engineer. His career progressed as a plant engineer and fabrication manager, and in 1980 he moved to Texas to oversee the launch of the Corsicana plant as the general manager. This role expanded over time as Wally began to spearhead various initiatives at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Rogers, Ark. plants. In 1984 he was named as Guardian Industries’ Employee of the Year. Wally was later instrumental in the international expansion efforts of the company, beginning with the Venezuela plant start-up and eventually expanding into Brazil and other emerging South American market locations. Another highlight of his career occurred when Wally delivered testimony in support of the economic benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement before the United States Congress. He retired in 2007 after 37 years of service with Guardian.
He was respected in the community for his leadership roles as President of the Corsicana Chamber of Commerce, President of the Corsicana Rotary Club, President and Board Member of the Corsicana Country Club, and member of the Finance Committee of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
He was a loving and devoted father and enjoyed spending time with his family. He was an avid fisherman, an optimistic hunter, and the self-declared “Mr. Golf.” He also went by the unofficial title of the Head Chef at “Wally Roma’s.” His love and enthusiasm will be fondly remembered.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his sons Mark L. Palma and wife Kelley, Matt Palma, and Kevin Palma; grandson Sean Booher; sisters Christine Grant and husband Charles, and Ruth Bryan and husband Robert; nephews Michael Grant and wife Kiki, Christopher Grant, Jason Bryan and wife Tiffany; niece Jennifer Crosthwaite; great nieces and nephews: Nicholas, Will, Carleigh, Katie, and Emily.
Visitation with the family will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Corley Funeral Home Chapel.
The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Father Jason Cargo officiating.
A reception with the family is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Corsicana Country Club. Pallbearers will be Robert Bryan, Craig Pope, Wayne Powell, David Smith, Sean Booher, Tomas Llinas. Honorary Pallbearers will be Ron Werner, Charles Hicks, Robert Edwards, Ernest Rylie, Jason Bryan, and Mitchell Stotts.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Volunteer Fire Departments of Kerens, Southern Oaks, and Powell, and to the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. An online guestbook is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com by selecting the Wally Palma obituary.