Keary Palmer Dryden

Born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 14, 1952

Departed on April 8, 2017

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Keary Palmer Dryden, 64, of Brentwood, TN, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on April 8, 2017. She was born on April 14, 1952 in Memphis, TN to the late Gilbert Watson Palmer, Jr. and Kate Johnson Palmer.

Keary graduated in 1970 from Central High School in Memphis, TN. She completed her undergraduate degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University in 1974.  She completed her master’s degree in nursing in 1979 from University of Alabama Birmingham.

Keary worked for a season as an RN, however, her true calling was teaching. She was a clinical nursing instructor at Belmont University for 20 years. She was a member of the Honorary Nursing Society, Sigma Theta Tau International. She will live on in the hearts of the students she has touched with her dedicated, humble service to each and every one of them.

Keary was a devoted mother, loving wife, passionate teacher and caring nurse. She was guided by her love and unwavering faith in God, and was a member at Christ Presbyterian Church. Keary shared her special gifts through numerous mission trips to Cambodia, service to many nonprofits in Nashville and was instrumental in the formation of the church’s ministry to college students.

Keary also served as a nurse at Camp Country Lad in Monterey, TN for 20 years. She cherished the time she spent there with her sons, nephews, and campers.

Keary is survived by her loving husband of 32 years, Alec Dryden, her two sons Samuel Alston Dryden (Megan) and Alec Palmer Dryden, her three brothers Gilbert W. Palmer III (Kitty), Thomas S. Palmer (Margo), and Alston J. Palmer (Carita).


Funeral service will be Saturday, April 15, 2017, 1:00 pm at Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd. Nashville, TN 37215. Visitation at the church will begin at 11:00 am. A brief graveside service will immediately follow the funeral service at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens, 9090 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to:

  • Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd. Nashville, TN 37215
  • The Keary P. Dryden Memorial Medical Missions Endowment; Belmont University, Office of Development, Fidelity Hall 105; 1900 Belmont Blvd.; Nashville, TN 37212
  • Freedom’s Promise, P.O. Box 58996 Nashville, TN 37205

4 Comments to Keary Palmer Dryden

  1. Sara Camp
    April 10, 2017 7:32 pm

    Thinking of you all with such love in our hearts. Keary was a light and a sweet, sweet spirit. She touched the life of many a nursing student, now nurse, who benefitted from her knowledge and servant heart.

    Praying for the God of hope to fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him. (Rom. 13:15).

  2. Susan Taplin
    April 10, 2017 8:43 pm

    I am thinking of you all during this most difficult time of loss. Keary was a special woman and I am so grateful to have known her and spent the many fun days together in Cambodia. She was a very kind and generous woman who will always be remembered. The Cambodians that she knew and loved are grieving along with you all.

  3. Bin Pheap - Cambodia
    April 11, 2017 12:57 pm

    Dear Keary, you are the women that have a big heart and gentle spirit, we remember you always, thank you so much for your love for Cambodia. With respect and much love! From Sovann & Pheap

  4. Chris Algren
    April 12, 2017 2:13 pm

    Alec and Sons, I am thinking of you and asking God to hold you close to him during this difficult time. Keary was one of the most kind, loving, Christian women that I have ever known. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor to so many nursing students and touched so many lives. She gave herself completely in mission work with the School of Nursing. She will be missed by many. May God bless her life and all of you.

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