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Fernando M. Palacios

Born in Holguin, Cuba on Sept. 4, 1932.
Departed on Aug. 31, 2017 in Melbourne, FL.

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Visitation: Thurs. Sept 7th at 5pm-8pm
Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home , Melbourne, FL
Service: Fri. Sept. 8th at 2:30pm
Ascensiion Catholic Church , Melbourne, FL
Cemetery: Florida Memorial Gardens , Rockledge, FL

Fernando M. Palacios, 84, of Melbourne, Florida, passed away peacefully in his home on August 31 after succumbing to his battle with cancer. He was born on Sept 4, 1932 in Holguin, Cuba to Santiago Fernando Palacios and Lilia Eugenia (Porrua) Palacios.
Educated in Cuba by the Maristas, a Catholic order of brothers, Fernando was a serious student. He graduated from the University of Havana with his law degree in 1955 and two years later married the only girl he ever kissed, the love of his life, Carmen (Hernandez). In 1961, with a toddler, a young baby and little to no possessions, Fernando and Carmen left their homeland to flee political persecution and came to the United States to begin a new life.
After working a string of whatever odd jobs were available to him, Fernando got a position teaching Spanish at Central Junior High School. In the summers, he earned a Masters Degree in Education at the University of Florida and then went on to teach at Satellite High School. In 1973, he was accepted into the Cuban American Lawyers program. For the next two years, he attended law school at the University of Florida all day, every Saturday, while still teaching full time. In 1977, he passed the Florida Bar and began his law career for a second time. Over the next forty years, he practiced law in Brevard County, specializing in immigration and naturalization.
In 1999, Fernando was appointed a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit by Governor Jeb Bush, and continued in that capacity until July of 2003. In 2015, the Brevard County Bar Association awarded him the Judge Clarence T. Johnson Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of tireless pursuit and practice of the highest ideals and tenets of the legal profession and for consistently demonstrating the essential attributes of professionalism by character, competence and commitment, an award he humbly declared was one of the proudest moments of his professional career.
He was a longtime member of Ascension Catholic Church, where he served as an usher and a Eucharistic Minister. Fernando was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Eau-Gallie Rotary club, as well as the Florida Space Coast Council for International Visitors and Club Hispano Americano de Brevard, a club that his late father, Santiago Palacios, helped found. In his sparetime he enjoyed traveling and over the years he and his wife Carmen hosted many international Rotarians in their home. He enjoyed the theater and watching his favorite baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins, but everyone who knew Fernando, knew that his most fervent passion was attending football games to cheer on his beloved Florida Gators.
He is survived by his cherished wife of sixty years, Carmen, who took care of him with much love and dedication, his two daughters, Maria Geraci and Carmen Dick, son-in-laws Mike Geraci and John Dick; grandchildren Ryan Dick, Stephanie Geraci, Jonathan Dick, Kevin Geraci, Megan Geraci, and his grand daughter-in-laws, Jennie Williams Dick and Rachel Geraci; his sister, Ester Barba, his brother-in-law, Carlos Barba, nieces Maria Englebrecht, Olga Schor, and nephews Virgilio Perdomo, Charlie Barba and Brian Ridyard. He was predeceased by his much loved niece, Lourdes Ridyard.
A special thank you to Dr. Pichardo and the staff at the Cancer Care Center of Brevard, as well as Vitas Hospice Care for their loving care and support.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Brownlie Maxwell Funeral Home. A memorial mass will be celebrated at Ascension Catholic Church on Friday, September 8 at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Lourdes Barba-Ridyard Memorial Scholarship c/o Melbourne Central Catholic High School.

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