Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Leona Palasek would agree that she had energy that never ran dry. She was a woman of many interests who preferred to be busy and made sure that everything was just so. Leona was deeply devoted to her husband and children, but she just might have argued that nothing was sweeter than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother to the younger generations she adored. A woman of faith, she lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. Life will never be the same without Leona here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we recall as the Roaring Twenties. Jazz music was popular, Broadway was at its all time peak, and radios changed the way we kept up with the world around us. This was a decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression, and prosperity was largely felt nationwide. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Leroy and Jeanette Hiddinga as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as spring appeared on the horizon in Holland, Michigan, in 1926. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Leona Marie drew her first breath. The oldest of three children, she was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Eugene and Leroy “Red.” Leona and her brother enjoyed singing together. After graduating from Holland High, she went on to nursing school at St. Mary’s Hospital.
New and exciting changes were in store for Leona when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Joseph Palasek, and it didn't take the couple long to fall in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Leona and Joe were married on January 12, 1947, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. As a young newlywed, she worked as an LPN while Joe worked at American Seating. Together they welcomed three children including Christine, Ellen, and Janet into their hearts and home. Leona was diligent in keeping a home, and she also liked cooking, baking, gardening, and sewing. As a family they attended Sacred Heart. Family was always an important part of her life. Since Joe was from a big family as he had 10 brothers and two sisters, there was always plenty going on. They got together with all of his relatives every month. In the summer their gathering was at a beach and in the wintertime they went bowling.
Throughout her life, Leona was someone who was always on the go. She and her husband enjoyed traveling including up North and to various places around the country to see family members. Ever since the time she was married, Leona was devout in her Catholic faith. She enjoyed her ice cream, and she liked a good cup of black coffee. When it came to the foods she enjoyed, Leona liked beef roast, potatoes and vegetables. For more than 30 years, she and Joe lived at their condo on Skyline Circle. Although she took her roles as a wife and mother to heart, Leona loved being a grandmother and was deeply devoted to her grandchildren. She often kept busy around her home as she wasn’t one to sit still.
With a life that spanned times of war and time of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Leona Palasek was a blessing to those around her. She could be opinionated and a perfectionist at times, and she fully dedicated herself to whatever task was at hand. Leona was loving and strong, and although she was an introvert she was warm and gracious with her family and friends. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
PALASEK – Leona (Hiddinga) Palasek aged 92, of Grand Rapids, passed away on May 29, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; daughter, Christine Wilson: brother, Eugene Hiddinga; and son-in-law, Roger Wilson. Leona is survived by her daughters, Ellen (Michael) Hoover and Janet Kneibel; grandchildren, Jason (Jessica) Kneibel, Daniel (Chelsea) Kneibel, Matthew Kneibel and Mitchell Kneibel; great-grandchildren, Shaylee and Raya; and brother, Leroy “Red” (Victoria) Hiddinga. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11AM on Wednesday June 6, 2018 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 2700 Baldwin St. Jenison, MI. The family will visit from 10 AM to 11 AM at the church. Contributions in her memory may be made to West Michigan Humane Society. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Leona’s lifestory, submit a picture or memory or to sign the guestbook.