Julianne Palma, a longtime English teacher and professor — and a contributing writer for the Catholic Courier for over 25 years — died Jan. 7, 2017 from cancer at Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center in Greece. Mrs. Palma, 62, was the wife of Deacon David Palma, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Rochester.
Born Julianne Winter, Mrs. Palma was a Philadelphia native and graduate of Webster’s Holy Trinity School and Rochester’s Our Lady of Mercy High School. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in theater arts in 1976 from Nazareth College, master’s in education in 1979 from Nazareth College and master’s in theology in 1990 from St. Bernard’s Institute (now St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry).
Over a 40-year career she taught at Henrietta’s Good Shepherd School; Our Lady of Mercy, where she also directed theater productions and served as campus minister; and Monroe Community College and Nazareth College, both as an adjunct English professor.
According to Deacon Palma, her husband of 38 years, Mrs. Palma also was "tremendously involved" in various parish volunteer roles, particularly wherever his deacon assignments took place.
Among her additional interests were writing, poetry, public speaking, dancing and flute-playing. In addition, Deacon Palma — who was ordained in 1990 — noted that his wife taught deacon-formation classes along with him at St. Bernard’s. In her work for the Courier , Mrs. Palma wrote numerous book reviews.
"She was passionate. She never did anything halfheartedly," Deacon Palma remarked.
He added that Mrs. Palma’s passion was especially strong when it came to her students.
"She encouraged people to realize their potential," he said. "’You can do it, don’t give up,’ always affirming. The letters she was getting when she was sick — she couldn’t believe all the people who wrote saying she had an influence on them."
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Palma is survived by her mother, Lucille Winter; brother, Steven Winter; sister-in-law, Lynn (Michael) Dennstedt; brother-in-law, Jeff R. Palma; niece and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; cousins; and godchildren.
Calling hours for Mrs. Palma will be Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Miller Funeral Home, 3325 Winton Road S., Rochester. Her funeral Mass will take place Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 15 St. Mary’s Place, Rochester, with Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark presiding and Father Robert Werth as homilist. Interment will be at Ascension Garden in Henrietta.
Memorial donations can be made to Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, Advancement Office, 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610; African Family Services Foundation In New York, Inc., 160 Merriman St., Rochester, NY 14607; St. Mary Church, 15 St. Mary’s Place, Rochester, NY 14607; or the charity of one’s choice.