Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church


Our Stories

The Story of Palmer's Rose Garden & Requiem Memorial

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Dr. Roy Jones was an active member of the neighboring communities of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church and Rice University. Dr. Jones was Professor of Russian on the Rice faculty, and was recognized by his students and colleagues as a gifted and inspiring teacher.

During a remission from cancer, Roy managed to complete the first training class to qualify as a Stephen Minister at Palmer. He said he was willing to be a Stephen Minister for others since he knew that he could count on there being a Stephen Minister for him when he needed one.

Roy was devoted to the liturgy and especially the music at Palmer. As part of an endowment he left to Palmer Church, Roy stipulated that the Palmer choir should offer a sung setting of the Requiem Mass annually, on or around All Souls’ Day. Since1997 the Roy Jones Memorial gift has enabled the choir to offer many beautiful settings of the Requiem Mass, as well as anthems and motets appropriate for All Souls and Remembrance Day. This year the choir will sing movements from Ein Deutches Requiem by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Messe Solemnelle by Louis Vierne (1879-1937).

Roy delighted in filling the front yard of his home in Boulevard Oaks with gorgeous roses. To honor his parents, he endowed a rose garden at Palmer in their memory. After Roy’s death, the Stephen Ministers had the garden re-dedicated to honor Roy as well and installed a commemorative plaque to that effect. During the last major expansion at Palmer, the rose garden was moved to its present location at the side of St. Bede’s Chapel. An updated plaque is being installed there as well as new rosebushes and other improvements to enhance the space.

Property that Roy left to Palmer in his will was sold and the proceeds were placed in the Palmer Endowment Fund. The Endowment now has the funds to restore, enhance, and maintain the rose garden as a a place of rest and reflection for all who enter.