By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

Lander- Local legend Andy Palmer, former leader of “The Westerners,” a country group that dates back to the 1940’s has passed away in Lander this week. According to bandmate Marlene Young, he was a legend throughout Wyoming, taking the group all over the state entertaining groups for more than 50 years. 

“Andy and I grew up here in Lander and he was an accomplished Fiddler,” says friend Marlene. “We went everywhere to play as people danced.” Marlene, his 90 year old friend, reminisces about the time on the road with the band and recalls the days when they played for the Winter Fair in Lander and the Pioneer Days every year. “Andy played the fiddle and I was on the keyboard and vocals. Ron Johnson played guitar and we often had a different drummer” says Marlene.  They played the Stockgrowers Bar, now the home of an art gallery, every Friday and Saturday night. 

Andy, a hard worker in his own right, worked at Fremont Motors for many years to support his family.  Andy is survived by his daughter and grandson who are in town to arrange his services that are to be held at the senior center on August 7.

Marlene, the oldest living Pioneer Days Rodeo Queen, still lives in Lander where she taught music her entire career, stated that right up until his passing, Andy would get up early and entertain the residents at the Lander Senior Center, playing piano as they ate breakfast. He also gave impromptu concerts from time to time in the evenings. 

The Community of Lander as well as the State of Wyoming has lost a legendary musician who touched an incalculable number of people throughout his life. Although he will be missed here on Earth, He is undoubtedly playing for the angels in heaven as they two-step among the clouds to the lively fiddle music of Andy Palmer.