Coralee Palmer

A reluctant interviewee for this column who reveals much more to her person under closer scrutiny, Coralee Palmer has been a proud member of LSCO since 2017.

She credits her daughter for approaching her with the idea of checking out LSCO to see what it has to offer.

The eldest of 3 daughters, Coralee was born in Peterborough, Ontario where her mother and sisters still reside to this day. Always keen to maintain her familial bonds, she keeps in regular contact with them and tries
to go out there twice a year.

She retired in 2010 while her husband, Gary retired in 2017. They then moved from Bragg Creek to be nearer to her daughter’s family and have lived in West Lethbridge ever since.

Coralee met Gary while they were in college where she completed a Law & Security diploma. She once harbored a dream of becoming a police officer but unfortunately, did not meet the height requirements of the role at the time. She then began a career with the Customs Agency at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario. She paints a humorous picture of her time at the Ambassador Bridge such as the times when they had to raise their voices and say, “Halt in the name of the Queen” when people from Detroit would attempt to cross the border without stopping. She also worked for the Customs Agency at Sarnia, Ontario and had a brief career as a postal carrier for two years in

Due to Gary’s employment with Imperial Oil, they moved ‘out west’ to Fernie in 1988 where she then took up employment at the Roosville Border Crossing at Grasmere, B.C. Thanks to Gary’s job, the family also lived in Switzerland for two years. They used this opportunity to travel through Europe and other continents e.g. Germany, Czechoslovakia, Liechtenstein, Egypt, etc.

She reminisces on the seven times she visited Paris because that was always the top destination for her visiting friends. She also has a great story about adolescent nephews visiting in Heidelberg and coming across a ‘photo shoot’.(I believe she might
be willing to share if you politely ask her about it when you run into her) Gary eventually got transferred to Calgary, where Coralee had an additional 25 year career spanning the Canada Customs district office, the postal plant, and the airport before she retired.

She shares that she very much enjoyed her time working due to the variety of people she always came across, and “it was never boring.”

They lived in Bragg Creek with their two children that they had in Peterborough and Oshawa for 22 years, raising their family and commuting to Calgary. Sadly, Coralee and Gary lost their 18 year old son Josh in a Motor Vehicle Accident twenty-two years ago, as he was travelling from work with a friend. Animated and open to speaking about him; She surmises that he is still ‘present’ in their lives and always will be.

Coralee’s daughter Lindsey has been in Lethbridge since 2002, where she pursued her post secondary education at the college
and university before settling down and starting a family. Coralee is blessed with two grandchildren, Jacob and Emily. She shares that they were a main part of her and Gary’s decision to move to Lethbridge after their retirement.

Coralee is an avid fan of music from the 60’s-80’s but she considers Country as her favourite genre. She also enjoys walking her dog, reading, cooking and/or baking, and a bit of spice gardening. Her comfort food favorite is “potato chips”. Coralee and Emily are regular volunteers at the Last Chance Cat Resort. Coralee says she does ‘gruntwork’, but is pleased to be making a difference for so many cats in a clean environment that operates solely on donations.

Coralee believes that “what goes around, comes around”. She shares that she is sometimes teased for being “Saint Coralee”, but she takes it all in stride. She strikes one as an animated, approachable, and kind individual who does whatever she can for others. She revealed that she is most proud of her family: husband, children and grandchildren.

Coralee utilizes LSCO for all kinds of fitness programs and usually participates in at least one class per day. Additionally, she can be found in the kitchen regularly doing dishes, or any tasting when needed, every Thursday where you can stop by to say “Hi” and “Thanks for your volunteerism !”

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