Dorothy Palmer Fresch, 96

HANNIBAL, NY – Dorothy Palmer Fresch, 96, of Hannibal, died Saturday September 1, 2012, at Oswego Hospital.

Dorothy was born April 2, 1916, on the family farm.

Dorothy Palmer Fresch
Dorothy Palmer Fresch

Her parents were Fred Palmer and Eva Shutts, and her sisters were Ruth (Richardson) and Marion (Van Patten).

At 18, she married her high school sweetheart, Eugene Fresch, and together they had four children: Harry, Kay, Sue and David.

Those children gave her 10 grandchildren.

Harry gave her Joe Fresch from Fulton who now lives in Austin, Texas. Kay, her predeceased daughter with James Godden, gave her Richard, Robert and Jeanine Godden all of Oswego, and Sam Graham-Godden of New York City. Sue Magazu gave her Brian and Alicia of Jacksonville, Fla. David and Cynthia (Hare) gave her Jerrod Calkins, Tara and Alena Fresch all of Oswego.

Also surviving are several great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.

This was only the tip of the iceberg for this lady’s love of family.

She still, to the last days, received mail from her children around the world.

As a host to AFS (American Field Service) students as well as other programs and means, she made close, loving contacts with people in Italy, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Australia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Thailand, Malaysia, and Chile.

The large part of her adult life was centered on teaching.

Dot, as many of her friend’s called her, started her 30-year career teaching all grade levels in a one-room schoolhouse and ended with teaching sixth grade for the Hannibal Central School District, retiring in 1975.

Dorothy took her civic duties seriously.

She was a charter member and treasure of Hannibal Historical Society, director of the Hannibal Village Cemetery, the Hannibal Community Center, and was a member of the New York State Retired Teachers Association.

In 2011 Hannibal declared her the woman of the year.

She enjoyed the company of the Elderberries, the Hannibal Seniors Group and for 50 years was a part of the Hannibal Hens Club.

The Hens were a group of women who got together for fun, and support.

Hannibal United Methodist Church was her support since 1927 when she first joined.

She later became their treasurer for 20 years.

If you happened to mention to her that you were traveling, you might have ended up with a traveling companion.

She had visited all of the continents except for Antarctica.

A visit to her home in those days often meant a slide show of her travels.

Despite her many travels elsewhere, Dorothy always called Hannibal, NY, her home, and home is where she will be placed to rest at the Hannibal Village Cemetery.

There will be no calling hours.

Memorial services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Hannibal United Methodist Church, West and Church streets, Hannibal.

Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal, has charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hannibal United Methodist Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 89 Hannibal, 13074.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.


  1. Our family celebrate with peace her going home with our Lord God, the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We’ll continue to model and remember Aunt Dorothy’ s caring and love for all who knew her. She was like a second Mom to each of us and she remembered all of our special occasions. What a ‘Bessing’ she was to each of us! Her love will always remain in our hearts!

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