Celebrating the life of Sophie Sandor
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of Sophie. This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
November 26, 1933 – January 2, 2021
Sophie Pauline Sandor, nee Tramposch, died in Warwick, New York on January 2nd, 2021. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 64 years, Paul Sandor, who passed on October 28, 2020. Her sister, Erna and her brother-in-law John, and brother Ernst and sister-in-law Elvira predeceased her as well. She leaves behind her youngest sibling, Helmut.
Born in Hohenegg #1, Gottschee, Slovenia, on November 26, 1933, Sophie was the third of four children of her parents Heinrich and Pauline Gramer Tramposch from Gottschee, Slovenia.
Sophie remembered her life in Hohenegg as being an innocent time. She worked with her mother, father, sister Erna, and brother Ernst on the farm. In the spring they planted, hoed, and weeded crops. In the fall they harvested the corn, potatoes, cabbage, wheat, oats, rye, and fruit. During the summer, they mowed, turned, and raked hay, putting it on a horse-drawn wagon since they had no machinery.
Sophie attended elementary school in Hohenegg. She remembered that they spoke German and Gottscheerish (their cultural dialect that goes back to the 1300s) at home but learned Slovenian in school. The Tramposch family were some of the first Gottscheers to be relocated to Rann, Untersteiermark (Brezice), Yugoslavia on November 14, 1941. It had been decided that Gottscheers had to leave everything behind that their ancestors had worked for over 600 years.
Many other relocations followed during World War II. Sophie went to elementary school in Arnau, then to the main high school in Gurkfeld. In May 1945 with the end of WW II they had to move again. This time her mother and the three youngest children fled to Austria. When Sophie escaped from the Russians, she was just 11 years old. They finally got into the British occupation zone, and lived in Villach, where the whole family was reunited and were together in various displaced persons camps. They then moved to Graz, where Sophie did domestic work outside of the camp.
In Austria, her father and mother decided to emigrate to the USA with the help of relatives in America. They left for Genoa, Italy on December 30th, 1949 by ship "Sobieski" on board. The ship visited several ports in South America and then landed in New York on January 23, 1950.
When they arrived here, except for Helmut who had to continue attending school, they all started to work. Sophie became a domestic worker at age 16 in order to help pay off the relatives for their passage from Europe.
Sophie met Paul Sandor from Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary in 1954 in Ridgewood, Queens, New York. On October 27, 1956, Sophie and Paul married. The wedding was celebrated in the Gottscheer Clubhouse on Fairview Ave in Ridgewood. They lived in Ridgewood, NY - first renting and then buying their own home. This is where they raised their children, Doreen Sandor and Paul Sandor. Sophie worked in a knitting mill until Paul was born.
While Paul sometimes worked two or three jobs, Sophie took care of the children, the house, and the dog. She volunteered in the school library, was a member of the Ladies’ Guild, and became involved with the St. Matthias “Blue Max” Drum & Bugle Corps, sewing uniforms.
Sophie and Paul were active with Die Erste Gottscheer Tanzgruppe, and supported Gottscheer organizations by attending annual dances. The most popular occasion of the year was the annual Gottscheer Picnic, which was held on the first Sunday in June. They could be seen twirling to polkas or waltzes at these events.
In 1967 Paul and Sophie purchased their piece of Heaven in Prattsville, New York. Family and many friends have enjoyed the beautiful Catskill Mountains through today. The vegetable garden in Prattsville provided the family with frozen or canned produce through the winter. Sophie’s ‘green thumb’ for plants and flowers was well known.
In 1992, after Paul retired, they moved to Middletown, New York. Here, Sophie joined a quilting group and shared her talents by creating quilts for all the grandchildren, children, and friends. She was already an accomplished sewer, and was amazing at crocheting, knitting, quilting, and needlepoint. Her Austrian and Hungarian delicacies as well as other baked goods were always popular – and she could cook!
In 2002, through the Gottscheer Heritage & Genealogy Association, she had the opportunity to take part in a sightseeing trip with sister Erna, brother Helmut and sister-in-law Judy to Gottschee. They had had twelve nice days in their old homeland exploring their roots.
Sophie is survived by her brother, Helmut Tramposch and wife Judy; daughter Doreen Sandor and husband Robert Fizette, and son Paul Sandor and wife Deborah.
She is also survived by her six grandchildren and their spouses (who affectionately call her “Omi”): Katherine Chmielowicz and her husband Thomas, Christopher Sandor and his wife Sarah Jane, Theresa Girardi, Ryan Sandor, Brittany Kiselak and her husband Thomas, and Amanda Sandor.
Sophie was so proud to be a Gottscheer, and always demonstrated the finest attributes of her heritage - hard work ethic, strength, kindness, strong family values, love of music, and amazing cooking, sewing, and handiwork skills. She was also proud to be an American.
The family and friends are grateful that we were able to enjoy Sophie’s love, generosity of spirit, talent, sense of humor, and company to the age of 87. Sophie was a current member of St. Paul’s R. C. Church in Bullville, New York.
Visitation will be held from 2-6 pm on Friday, January 8, 2021 at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home Inc., 130 Highland Ave., Middletown, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 9, at 9:30 am, St. Paul’s R.C. Church, Bullville, NY. Burial will follow in the family plot at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.
All NYS COVID regulations being followed. Masks required. Social distancing will be enforced. Arrangements are made under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc. www.applebee-mcphillips.com.
To plant a tree in memory of Sophie Sandor, visit the Tribute Store.
130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940
Bulliville, NY 10915
Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 West Stevens Avenue Hawthorne, NY 10532.