George

January 16, 1935 ~ October 11, 2021

Born in: Rochester, NY
Resided in: Spencerport , NY

George Thomas Palazzolo

Spencerport, NY: Born January 16, 1935 in Rochester, NY, passed suddenly October 9, 2021 at home. He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Jytte Lise Gudnitz Palazzolo, parents Michael Palazzolo and Concetta DiQuattro Palazzolo, in-laws Knud and Karen Gudnitz, brothers Sebastian “Ross” and Ralph Palazzolo, brothers-in-law Louis Giglio and Bent Bach, daughter-in-law Anne Becnel Palazzolo, and nephew Michael Palazzolo. George is survived by his children: Mark Palazzolo, Yvonne (Delano) Pohlson, Tina (Mark) Adams; grandchildren: Michael Palazzolo, Maddison (Seth Hollendoner) Leiker, Nicholas Leiker, and Alexander Pohlson.

Surviving family also include his loving sister Lucy Giglio; sisters-in-law Mary “Sandie” (Ralph) Palazzolo, Inge Gudnitz, Hanna Gudnitz, Bente Gudnitz, Sonja (Raul) Bach de Vera, and Marianne Gudnitz; brothers-in-law Erling (Merete) and Gert (Ingrid) Gudnitz; nieces Debra Palazzolo Britch, Michele (Rick) Adams, Maria (Steven) Gangarossa, Bettina Bach Dalgaard, Iben Jensen, Majken (Jacob) Gudnitz, and Emmelie (Jakob) de Forest; nephews Louis R. Giglio, David (Lynalove Daya) Palazzolo, Jimmy (Arisa) Toft, Tue (Gitte) Gudnitz, Lasse Gudnitz, and Daniel (Julie) de Forest; many beloved great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

Visitation will be held Sunday, October 24th 1-4 p.m. at Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home, 1075 Long Pond Road, Greece Chapel. A private burial for extended family will be held at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Monday, October 25th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rochester Education Foundation Inc., EIN 27-0132133, 250 Mill Street, Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 271-5790, www.rochestereducation.org.

Born January 16, 1935 in Rochester, NY, George attended Jefferson High School, was a swimmer on the swim team and graduated in 1952. He was also a student of the Curley Fisher School of Dancing attending and performing with his life-long friend Joe Arnone (1935-1994). George and Joe would sometimes entertain crowds taking their tap dancing routines to the night clubs. After high school, he attended SUNY Geneseo 1952-1956, where he was a swimmer, joined the cheerleading squad, a member of Delta Kappa Tau fraternity, and joined the theater group, where he further refined his acting and dancing skills on stage. He sometimes claimed practicing his dancing when crashing weddings and dancing with the brides, and he would pick up new moves sneaking into movies to watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly. March 8, 1954 George won the Junior Class Talent Show and an opportunity to appear on WHAM-TV’s “You Can Be a Star.” He was a hard act to follow where even academically he was well-respected by his peers when they elected him president of the Future Teachers of America in 1953, a club on campus sponsored by the National Education Association.

In 1956 George earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree and accepted a middle-school teaching job in the Brighton Central Schools district. His career was interrupted during the draft where he chose to enlist in the United States Army to have some influence on the decisions being made on his military service assignment, rather than taking chances with the draft, and served overseas in Bremerhaven Germany 1958-1960 where he was a news service liaison in the Army’s public information office. This role gave him a rare opportunity of meeting Elvis Presley, who was drafted the same year and also stationed in Germany. Kids took the day off from school anticipating Presley’s arrival and the police were struggling to keep the large crowd a safe distance away. After the ship arrived with Presley aboard, Elvis nervously saluted George when he entered the room first, and George introduced Elvis to his commanding officer that followed behind him explaining “He’s the one you need to salute, not me,” before Elvis was briefed by the commanding officer on the plan to walk down the gangway without causing a riot.

After accepting a dinner invitation to his commanding officer’s home, George met the love of his life. Jytte was the au pair hired to live with and care for the commanding officer’s children, and assist his wife in the household. Discovering a new muse for his photography, he initiated a whirlwind romance with his shy but stunning future wife. They married a year later in Jytte’s beautiful hometown of Mariager in Denmark on November 27, 1960.

George’s military assignment came to an end and they moved to a small upstairs apartment in Michael and Concetta’s, his parent’s, home where they lived 6 years. He returned to work for Brighton Central Schools as a middle school teacher, and they started their family in that tiny apartment with the arrival of Mark in 1962. The threesome moved into an unfinished house being built in the town of Gates, West of Rochester, after contractors finished the indoor electrical and plumbing. Having construction experience building homes with his father and brothers during school breaks, George negotiated a reduced price by doing much of the remaining interior dry wall and flooring himself, with help from his brothers. When he wasn’t swinging a hammer, he was also busy attending graduate school classes in Geneseo. Yvonne was the next addition to the family in 1967, and George earned his Masters of Science in Education degree just four months before Tina, his youngest, was born in 1968.

As a teacher, George was active in the Brighton Teachers Association, serving two years as president. He was named vice principal of Twelve Corners Middle School in 1970, principal in 1973, high school director of humanities in January 1985, but later accepted a position as the District Director of Pupil Services in July 1985. After an impressive 35 years with the Brighton Central Schools district, George retired in 1991.

Some additional professional affiliations during his career include:

  • Elected Chairman of the District Extended Studies committee
  • Leading TCM’s Community Intervention program
  • Awarded a Life Membership in the PTA in 1972 for his active involvement
  • One of the founders of the New York State Middle Schools Association
  • Leadership of the Monroe County Middle Schools Principals Association
  • Elected to three offices of the Administrators’ Association, including president.
  • Liaison to the Brighton Recreation and Youth Agency Board
  • Completed a 3-year term as Director of the Brighton Chamber of Commerce
  • Rochester Area Trustee to the State Association of Pupil Services Administrators

Despite his many professional accomplishments over the years, George’s most rewarding time was spent with his family, which often included travelling. Throughout his marriage there were many trips with his children to visit his wife’s homeland and family in Denmark. He and his wife enjoyed more travelling after retirement to Italy, Denmark, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, Oklahoma, California, and then visiting his daughters that moved for a short time to Phoenix, Seattle, and later the Chicago area.

George loved golf and was once a very good competitive golfer among his golfing friends. When it wasn’t golf season, he often attended or hosted poker nights, met friends for breakfast on weekends, and there were a couple years here and there where he joined bowling leagues.

George’s accomplishments in life molded him into a positive role model for his children and grandchildren. He cherished his family — grandchildren most of all. Retired when the grandchildren arrived, he and his wife delighted in having the grandchildren for sleepovers and teaching them how to swim in his backyard swimming pool. He and Jytte never hesitated to assist when crisis or tragedy struck. They helped raise Michael over the years when Mark’s wife Anne battled cancer and required Mark’s 24-hour care, and lovingly continued doing so long after her premature passing. They opened their house without hesitation to Tina, her kids and their father after moving back from Seattle, and then once again to Yvonne, Delano, and Alexander when moving from Chicago until their kids and grandchildren were able to find homes and get settled. They were happiest when all the immediate family were back in Rochester. Not a week went by without their being involved with at least one of their grandchildren and their sports and extracurricular activities, if not all.

One of George’s biggest dreams was to take his children and grandchildren to Italy and share some of the culture, especially the family history in Sicily. This dream finally came true in 2019. Although it sadly was unable to happen while Jytte was with us, we are certain she was with us in spirit. The amazing vacation was nearly three weeks and George appeared to be re-energized from the opportunity to make these memories with the family he holds so dear to his heart.

George claimed being given the opportunity to watch each of his grandchildren grow into adulthood was one of the best gifts he was granted. He was a devoted husband and father, a doting and proud grandfather, uncle, and great uncle. George will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Visitation will be held Sunday, October 24th 1-4 p.m. at Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home, 1075 Long Pond Road, Greece Chapel. A private burial for extended family will be held at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Monday, October 25th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rochester Education Foundation Inc., EIN 27-0132133, 250 Mill Street, Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 271-5790, www.rochestereducation.org .

 

Services

Visitation: October 24, 2021 1:00 pm - October 24, 2021 4:00 pm

Vay-Schleich & Meeson - Greece Chapel
1075 Long Pond Road
Rochester, NY 14626


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  1. George was one of the most kind and intelligent educators that I have ever known. I could not have asked for a more supportive supervisor and co-worker as a new comer to Brighton Schools.
    Jane Minton

  2. Yvonne, I am sorry to hear the sad news of your father’s passing. He was my Middle School principal, and I remember him fondly as a kind man. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

  3. My deep condolences to George’s family and friends. I am sorry for your loss and hope that fond memories will be a blessing, bringing comfort in the days and months ahead. I had the privilege of knowing George through my service as a member of the Brighton School Board during his tenure. George contributed in so many ways to the children of our community through his excellent teaching and administrative leadership and his kindness and caring for the children we served. We remember him and the legacy he left: a commitment to excellence in education.

  4. I knew your dad & mom from the day they moved into our track, Ogden Heights. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I would call him periodically to check up on him . He was a very nice man who I will miss
    Linda Adamski
    7 Kingsford Lane
    Spencerport, NY

  5. I was fortunate to meet Jytte when she and George moved into their new home here in Spencerport.
    She was delightful; full of life energy…so warm and engaging. I enjoyed visiting with George when I would see him sitting outside on a warm day. He spoke with such affection whenever he referenced his children. It was clear that he felt loved and supported during these later years with health issues and aging. Reading his obituary, I now know that he was truly a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life. (Well done, George.)

    And now, he and Jytte are reunited, which is a comforting thought.
    Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

    Jill Stevens and Dan Murdoch, 30 Kingsford Lane, Spencerport, NY

  6. I am very grateful to have known George. For nineteen years I worked with him as a member of our small administrative group. What I remember most about George was his quiet passion in seeking what was best for students and in supporting his colleagues. A warm smile and thoughtful listening made each person feel welcome and respected. He was a committed educator who understood the needs of students and community. With ability and humility he practiced a leadership that encouraged collaboration and best effort. May his family find comfort in their memories of a wonderful man who made a difference.
    Mary I Reed

  7. Mark, Yvonne and Tina, Some of my very best memories were when our family visited you and your mom and dad when we were all children. Lots of food, laughter and just enjoying being welcomed and loved. We’re getting to be the next generation that hold the fondest memories of the older generation in our hearts…seems strange how time and distance keep us apart but the memories of childhood keep us tightly connected. Your Dad was a pretty special man and I am sure much of who he was will always be and live with you all in your hearts.

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