All June 12th events have been postponed due to unanticipated complications. The family will announce a new date when it is determined.
Sidonia Palace, age 102, died peacefully on January 17, 2021 in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She had been recovering from COVID-19. Sidonia is survived by her 3 children: Bill Palace of El Segundo, CA, Lydia Palace of Austin, TX and Gerard Palace of Framingham, MA; 5 grandchildren: Marshall Garrett of Chicago, Ill, Zachary Garrett of Shenzhen, China, Timothy Palace of Somerville, MA, Christopher Palace of Rochester, NY, Soleil Palace of El Segundo, CA; and 1 great granddaughter Chloe Garrett of Shenzhen, China.
Sidonia was born on November 12, 1918, the day after World War I Armistice Day, to Sidonia Oplustil and Ferdinand Heger in Brno, Czechoslovakia. She completed her studies in Gymnasium and Commercial Academy in Brno, achieving the equivalent of a master’s degree, and was proficient in several languages including: German, Czech, French, English, Hungarian, and Esperanto. Just before she graduated, in March 1939, the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia. Starting in September 1939, she worked for Rudolph M. Rohrer, an independent 150-year old publishing firm. Working for Rohrer, Sidonia was assigned to Brno, Budapest, Frankfurt, and Berlin from 1939 – 1945. She lost most of her family and lived through many harrowing war events during this tumultuous time.
Sidonia married Frank Palace on November 17, 1947 and immigrated to the United States in 1948. They settled in Montclair, NJ and Sidonia found work at White Laboratories. After her first son, Bill, was born in 1951, they moved to the Catskill Mountains and settled in Jewett Center. Sidonia stayed home to raise their three children, while Frank worked as a seaman for Esso (Exxon), traveling around the world. After Frank died in 1967, Sidonia went to work to provide for her 3 children. After several parttime jobs, she was hired as a news reporter for The Windham Journal. She was promoted to managing editor a couple years later and served this role with distinction for 28 years from 1969 to 1997.
While her children were in school, Sidonia led the local 4-H club and was PTA president for Hunter-Tannersville Central School. Sidonia took 4 European trips, one with the entire family, and three others including each one of her children and one of their friends during their high school years. For over 40 years, Sidonia was actively involved in the American Cancer Society, Mid-Hudson Library Association, Mountain Top Historical society, Hunter Public Library, American Cancer Society, and The Greene County Department of the Aging, where she logged over 4,000 hours as a chauffeur. She was an enthusiastic supporter of performing arts programs in the area.
Sidonia loved the beauty of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley, which reminded her of the Czech countryside near Brno. She was an avid hiker until the age of 89. Sidonia sewed, crocheted, knitted, needle-pointed and painted water-color greeting cards during her retirement years. Family and friends were lucky recipients of all her hobbies. Many benefactors of her labors never knew her: she crocheted hundreds of hats for newborn babies at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA. Sidonia often said “reach out, extend yourself to others, help each other.” She lived this theme of service and touched all those who met her, and many who hadn’t.
A memorial service will be held at St. Francis Catholic Church, Elka Park, NY in early June. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her memory to: The Mountain Top Historical Society, 5132 Route 23A, Haines Falls, NY 12436 or The Hunter Library, P.O. Box 76, Hunter, NY 12442.