Woodstock and the Groundhog Days Committee are saddened by the loss of one of the founders of the Groundhog Days celebration in our city. Mike will always be remembered for his community spirit and the inspiration that he contributed to this very special event.


Michael D. Palmquist, 62, Woodstock, died Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, surrounded by his family, at Centegra Hospital-McHenry.

He was born Nov. 19, 1947, in Woodstock, to Gerald F. and Phyllis R. (Binnebose) Palmquist. He married his childhood sweetheart, Peggy Knuth, Oct. 21, 1967, in Woodstock.

He received his business degree at Northland College, Ashland, Wis., and was in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1970 to 1976.

He began working with Knuth's School & Office Outfitters in 1970 and was active with the business for 39 years until his illness. His love of Woodstock showed with his commitment to join and serve on numerous organizations and committees.

He served for many years on the Woodstock Little League Board and also coached. He was a member of the Woodstock Lions Club, served on the Woodstock Parks and Recreation Commission and was one of the founders of Woodstock Groundhog Days. He served on the board of the Woodstock Downtown Business Association and was very active with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Retail Division, chairing many of the events.

He was a member of the Woodstock Country Club for more than 25 years, which allowed him to enjoy his true passion for golf.

Most of all, he loved his family and his grandchildren. He also enjoyed many trips with close friends and especially family times at the lake.

Survivors include his wife; his daughter, Lisa (Darren) Fortin, Woodstock; five grandchildren, Patrick, Kailin, Addison, Ellie and Greta; two brothers, Gary F. (Robin) Palmquist, Ingleside, and Pat L. (Judy) Palmquist, Huntersville, N.C.; several nieces and nephews; and good friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, Woodstock. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at the funeral home with his friend, the Rev. Ralph Searles, officiating. Interment will follow in McHenry County Memorial Park Cemetery, Woodstock.

Memorials can be made to the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1724, Woodstock, IL 60098.