Dorothy Catherine Sio

Our mother, Dorothy Catherine Sio, passed away at the age of 93 on November 10, 2019.  She went quietly, surrounded by family in New Paltz, NY. She was predeceased by Arnold Sio, her husband of 62 years.  Before moving to New Paltz, Dorothy and Arnie lived in Hamilton, NY for 56 years. Dorothy was born on July 25, 1926 in Chicago, IL to Edward and Emma Pfaff, and graduated from Woodrow Wilson Junior College.

Our mother was a gifted potter and watercolorist and spent many summers attending Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Island, Maine.  She also studied at Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Art Institute of Jamaica and Colgate University. Dorothy’s artwork is a prized possession among family members and friends.

Dorothy was committed to The League of Women Voters, Meals on Wheels, Interfaith Sunday School and the Chenango Nursery School.  She was a long-time yoga practitioner and avid gardener. As appreciators of art, music and nature, our parents enjoyed together the programs at Colgate University and Rogers Environmental Education Center.

Although active in the community, Dorothy’s main focus was supporting her husband, children and our grandparents.  Sunday dinners were large and delicious, as Dorothy was a tremendous cook.

Our parents placed importance on teaching tolerance and an appreciation of diversity, particularly through travel.  As a family we lived in England and Jamaica and our parents traveled extensively to India, the Caribbean, Europe and the US Southeast and Southwest.  For decades they spent their summers on the rural coast of Maine in an off-grid house -“Anchorhold” was the center of many family gatherings. Wherever they were, our parents held strictly to the ritual of tea precisely at 3:30.  Friends knew if they showed up then, they would be welcomed by a hot cup of tea and a cookie.

Our mother was welcoming to all and will be remembered for her gentle smile, caring hugs and curiosity about others and the world.  As a quiet but keen observer of human nature, she rarely uttered an unfriendly word; when she did, you knew she was telling it like it was.

She is survived by 4 children Kevin Sio (Elizabeth), Hilary Sio, Carter Sio (Erin), Julie Colbath (Clay); 8 grandchildren Tobin, Benjamin and Carson Sio, Dylan and Emma Sio, Willa Sio-Cody and Baxter and Lydia Colbath; and great grandchild Rosemarie Sio.

We ask that when you think of Dorothy, do something kind and generous in her name.  It’s what she would want. Please consider a donation to one of the following: Wallkill Valley Land Trust (New Paltz, NY), Downeast Coastal Conservancy (Machias, ME), or The Center Pole/Crow Indian Reservation (Garryowen, MT).

Here’s to a life well lived! See you on the other side…

Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.  Online condolences may be left for the family of Dorothy by visiting

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