Charlie Palmer, who spent more than 60 years working in the California horse racing industry, died of an aneurism at his home in Railroad Flats (Calaveras County) last Sunday. Palmer was 80.

Palmer began his career parking cars and cleaning stalls at Bay Area racetracks. He moved up through the ranks on the Northern California fair circuit to assistant operations manager, stable superintendent, patrol judge and racing secretary.

A longtime racing official at both Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields, Palmer served as the racing secretary at the Big Fresno Fair for 36 consecutive years before retiring from the position in 2001.

"Charlie helped a lot of racing officials get started and was just a great guy to work for," said California horse racing steward Grant Baker, who worked for Palmer many years on the summer fair circuit. "He always put the people that worked for him first."

Palmer is survived by his wife, Patricia, and sons Brian, Gregg, and Kevin. The family is planning a private graveside service.