Carmen Lydia Palacios

Born on February 9, 1934 in Matanzas, Cuba
Departed in Melbourne, Florida on May 9, 2020

Carmen Lydia Palacios, 86, of Melbourne, Florida, surrounded by her daughters, passed away peacefully in her home on May 9. The youngest of three daughters, Carmen was born on February 9, 1934, in Matanzas, Cuba, to Rogelio and Maria Hernandez.
After receiving her teaching degree from the University of Havana, she married the love of her life, Fernando. In 1961, with a toddler and a baby in tow, the young family emigrated to America to escape political persecution and begin a new chapter in their life. With little to no possessions to their name, Fernando worked a string of odd jobs to support the family while Carmen took care of their two young girls. Carmen often said that while those were hard times financially, they were also some of the happiest of her life, because the four of them were free, together, and healthy.
In 1965, with both girls now in school, Carmen resumed her teaching career in America at Central Junior High, where she taught Spanish and math for over 32 years. Many of her former students fondly remember Señora Palacios and the annual trip to St. Augustine, the Spanish Club, and “Palacios Points”, a system she devised to motivate her students.
Carmen loved people and made friends quickly. She loved to garden and play cards and Bunco with her friends. She and Fernando were active in the Eau-Gallie Rotary Club. They hosted many international Rotarians in their home, often stopping on their own travels around the world to visit with those same newfound friends. She enjoyed reading, sewing and loved to watch the Boston Red Sox. On Saturdays in the fall, you would find Carmen and Fernando at Florida Field, cheering on her beloved University of Florida Gators. Carmen was a long time parishioner at Ascension Catholic Church and volunteered in the SAIL program, teaching Spanish to fellow retirees.
She is survived by her two daughters, Maria Geraci (Mike) and Carmen Dick (John), five grandchildren, Ryan and his wife Jenny, Stephanie, Jonathan, Kevin and his wife Rachel, and Megan, as well as one great-granddaughter, Jenna.
The family would like to thank Vitas Hospice Care for their kindness and support. A memorial mass will be celebrated at Ascension Catholic Church on Friday, May 22. In place of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Lourdes Barba-Ridyard Memorial Scholarship fund c/o Melbourne Central Catholic High School.

Guestbook Entry

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3 entries.
Nina Keck from Melbourne wrote on May 31, 2020:
While Mrs. Palacios was never my teacher, I knew her well. My aunt, Miss Mazzella, taught with her at Central. She was so positive, kind, and just so much fun to be around. Heaven is an even sweeter place now that he lives there.
Brian Ridyard from Merritt Island wrote on May 19, 2020:
Since 1987 when Lourdes introduced me to Carmen and Fernando I have so many memories of them. Carmen was always so full of life and so loving and welcoming. One of my fondest memorIes is of flying them to Berlin and having a wonderful meal with them. Prayers for peace for the family from Myself, Tiffany, Kathy and Michael.
Elisa Lopez Short from Melbourne wrote on May 19, 2020:
Carmen was my wonderful Spanish Teacher at Central Junior High for three years but our families were close friends for over sixty years. I remember how it was so nice to have a family friend at school and to see her warm and friendly smile during Spanish class. Many wonderful memories were made over the years growing up with Maria and Carmen. We attended birthday parties, field trips, holidays and vacations together. I will never forget all the fun and laughs we shared when our families took a summer vacation trip to Acapulco, Mexico. It was a trip to remember. Maria, Carmen and I made up a song to sing to our parents. I can still see them all laughing at the three of us. Carmen is now with her beloved Fernando and I am sure they are all together enjoying each other’s company again as they enjoyed spending time together over the years. God Bless Your Family during this tine of sorrow. Remember all the wonderful memories that were made over the years as you celebrate a life well lived and a mother, grandmother and great grandmother that loved all of you very much. May the love of family and friends help wipe away your tears and give you the support and strength during this difficult time. Carmen is now with her beloved husband Fernando. Elisa Lopez Short

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