Robert Michael Palmer was born on October 24, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of John and Dorothy Palmer. He spent his early years living in the Chicago suburb of Hometown, IL before moving with his family to Miami. He was a proud graduate of North Miami Senior High, class of 64. After his family moved to St. Petersburg, he stayed in South Florida and began working for Air Canada as an agent. With the airlines, he moved to New York City and then to Los Angeles. From there, he quit the airlines and moved to San Francisco where he became a bartender and later a disk jockey in one of the largest dance bars in the city. After San Francisco, he moved to Guerneville, California to work in the dance bars along the Russian River. Michael came home to visit his parents in St. Pete and began working at the Lighted Tree, a beach bar on Pass-a-Grille Beach. It was there that his and Frank's eyes met on September 19, 1982.
He was predeceased by his parents and his two brothers, Gary and Dennis. He is survived by his brother Rick and his two sons, John and Robb. He is also survived by his sister, Janice and her two daughters, Nikki and Jessie.
For almost 41 years, Michael was partnered with his husband, Frank H. Roder. They made several cross country vacations across the United States which brought them to all 50 states. They also went on several cruises. Since same sex marriage was only legal in Massachusetts in 2004 they decided to go to Canada to get married. Michael and Frank went on vacation and got married in Ottawa on June 23, 2004. They were also the third couple to register as domestic partners when the City of Tampa began registering domestic partners on June 25, 2012. They bought an old bungalow in Southeast Seminole Heights and proudly worked to restore their home and they proudly showed their home during the first ever Southeast Seminole Heights Home Tour. He was a member of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association and an Associate Member of the United School Employees of Pasco - Retired.
Michael was very talented and created beautiful stain glass windows which still stand proudly throughout Tampa. Because of the care he showed while renovating his home, he became the neighborhood handyman. Michael's outgoing personality enabled him to make friends everywhere and those friends will remember what a wonderful man he was.