Edith Palamar, a World War II veteran and longtime resident of Williston Park and Roslyn Heights, died in her sleep on Feb. 17. She was 94.
Palamar was born and raised in College Point, where she attended Flushing High School, said Diane Holmes, her daughter.
Soon after the United States entered World War II, Palamar volunteered for active duty in the U.S. Navy, serving in the South Pacific as a Navy WAVE, or woman accepted for volunteer emergency service.
“She was teaching pilots how to fly at high altitudes, so they could fly and not black out,” Holmes said.
She did not fly herself but her deployment brought her to bases in Corpus Christi, Texas and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
After the war, Palamar moved back to College Point and took a job in Manhattan at a liquor manufacturer and distributor called Schenley, where she met coworker and fellow Navy veteran Peter Palamar. They would marry shortly thereafter, in 1946.
“They lived duty, honor, country and personal integrity,” Holmes said of her parents. “They were a part of the greatest generation. If they found $2,000 on the ground, they would find the person who dropped it.”
“They weren’t flag waving crazies,” she added. “They had a very quiet, very solid patriotism.”
They moved to Astoria, where they lived until 1959, when they found a home in Williston Park. By that time, they had three young children.
“My parents just wanted to get out of the city,” Holmes said. “And Williston Park was near a grade school. It was near a library, supermarkets and the church that my mom wanted to go to.”
At that church, St. John’s Lutheran, Palamar served as an active member and bible school teacher.
She also joined groups of women crafting, knitting, sewing, painting and holding adult education courses at their homes.
“It was the start of the home craft movement,” Holmes said. “Homemade became handmade, which was much more special. You no longer did a craft because you didn’t have the money to buy any other way. It had to do with doing what you wanted to do.”
In the 1980s, Palamar helped found a quilting organization called Peaceful Patchers in the Park, Holmes said.
Over the decades, she won several prizes for her quilts.
In 2009, at age 86, Palamar fell on her knee and developed an infection that “got worse and worse,” Holmes said.
Doctors sent her to Sun Habor Manor, a rehabilitation and nursing center in Roslyn Heights.
She resided there until she died of complications stemming from the infection.
“I miss her terribly,” Holmes said. “But the way she decided to go was comforting to us. She wasn’t horribly ill; she just went to sleep.”
She is survived by Holmes and her two brothers, Steven and David, both of whom attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as well as six grand children and three great-grandchildren.