Roger Palmer was born in Romford, England in 1946. His father (Stan Palmer) emigrated to Dundas, Ontario, Canada in 1952 to work for the John Bertram company, a manufacturer of large machine tools. Roger and his mother (Jean Palmer) followed in the spring of 1953, travelling on the steamship RMS Scythia .
Roger attended Dundas District High School, and then entered the Electrical Engineering program at McMaster University in Hamilton. Roger married Christine in 1970 in Toronto. Their son Tim was born in 1975, and in the Fall of that year they moved to Edmonds, WA (just North of Seattle). Their daughter Jessica was born while they lived in Edmonds. While working full time, Roger attended the University of Washington's Executive MBA program from 1986 to 1988
Looking for a calmer way of life, the family moved to Victoria, BC in 1994.