Alta Palmer (Cilley)
Alta Cilley Palmer, 93 of Burlington; a lady of class, style and distinction passed away June 17, 2018. Alta's desire was to have her 94th birthday at home on July 3 but will now be celebrated as she reunites with her husband Raymond, where they can sing, dance, and drink Manhattan's for eternity! Born July 3, 1924 in Moriah New York, her amazing musical talents were recognized early on. Her first piano concert was at the age of 14. Alta attended schools in Westport New York and graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1946, which started a lifetime of music appreciation. Alta's stunning beauty resulted in a temporary career change when she graduated from the Barbizon School of modeling in New York City. Her photos were published in many magazines, and on a limited edition of custom wallpaper.
She met the love of her life and married Raymond M Palmer, the two of them raising their family on the shores of Lake Champlain. Alta directed the Mixed Chorus at Champlain college, the Glee Club at Mary Fletcher school of nursing, the Ladies Barbershop Chorus, and for many years she was the director of music at The First Methodist Church in Burlington. She taught general music at Hunt School, Edmunds School, CP Smith School, and Mater Christi School; all in Burlington. Alta also played piano for the O'Brien dance studio in South Burlington. She then designed, implemented and taught the first music program in the Winooski School District. Upon retirement she established the Palmer School of Music providing private piano and voice instruction. Alta also played the Bells on Sunday at the First Methodist Church and volunteered at the weekly thrift shop. Her family fondly remembers the sing-along's around the piano during the holidays and rocking the house with the remarkable Bumble Bee Boogie! Summer on the porch was her peaceful oasis as she sat confidently in her styling bathing suit with matching wrap, diamond earrings, drink in hand, greeting those returning from the beach and chatting about their day in the sun. Her days now ending on a peaceful note.
Alta leaves her daughter Terri Mitchell and husband Brad, sons-in-law Norman Fontaine and Robert White, a special niece who shared her passion of music Bonnie Campbell-Dattilio, Granddaughters Kristie Perry (Kevin), Casey Mescher (Joe), and Carrie Macedonia (Sean) and four great grandchildren Liliana and Lauchlan Mescher, Autumn and Avery Macedonia. Her brother Jared Cilley and wife Elizabeth and many nieces and nephews. Alta's cherished lifetime friends Tommy and Hammy Livingston.
Alta was predeceased by her husband Raymond, daughters Carole Anne Fontaine, Patti Rae Palmer, her parents Jared F. and Ruth (Howe) Cilley, sister Melba and Carson Fuller, sister in law Muriel and Richard Campbell, brother in law Ted and Evie Palmer.
We would like to thank Dr. Brandes and The VNA Palliative team for their great care of Alta in her last days.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to VT Department of Library's Special Service/ ABLE library at 60 Washington St. Suite 2, Barre VT. 05641.
Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Thursday June 28, 2018 at LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 132 Main St, Winooski, VT 05404. A Funeral Service will be 11:00 AM Friday June 29, 2018 at First United Methodist Church 21 Buell St, Burlington, VT 05401. Burial will be at Lakeview Cemtery. Condolences may be shared at www.lavignefuneralhome.com.