Erdine Cathers Antonsen of New Paltz, died on Jan. 9. She was 99.

Born August 17, 1903 in Syracuse, NY, she was the daughter of George Cathers and Lulu Bunnell Cathers. Her brothers, Lincoln and Calvin Cathers, predeceased her in 1965 and 1980 respectively. Her husband, Zekor V. Antonsen, died July 23, 1979. Erdine and Zekor were married on May 19, 1940, and raised their family in Staten Island, NY. They moved to Ulster County in 1969.

She graduated in 1930 from Teachers’ College at Columbia University. Being highly skilled and unable to find work during the Depression years, Erdine began her lifelong search for answers to economic and social inequalities. She joined the Communist Party and remained a member until her death.

Antonsen was a social activist as well as a teacher, involved in the civil rights and peace movements for most of her adult life. She was an active member of the NAACP, Caribbean Latin American Support Project, Community Action of Rosendale, the Literacy Volunteers Association and a number of other organizations.

She wrote letters to the editor in local papers and worked daily for social justice, until age 90. She would sign letters to the editor, Erdine Antonsen, Secretary of the Mid Hudson Communist Party.

Erdine was a lover of good books, playing the piano, birds and other aspects of nature. Songs like “Joe Hill,” “Kevin Barry” and “Banks of Marble” were among her favorites. She would read selections from Mike Quinn’s “On the Drumhead” to her children at bedtime.

During the McCarthy years, Erdine was harassed by the FBI, yet neither Erdine nor Zekor would give up their beliefs and activities.

She is survived by a son, Eric H. Antonsen of Virginia, Minnesota, a daughter, Elga R. Antonsen of Saugerties, a daughter, Karen Antonsen Cathers of New Paltz; six grandchildren, Halina Adamski, Andre R. Adamski, Janette Hansen, Christina Peone, Nicole Peone and Justin Peone; and ten great-grandchildren, Kayla, Patrick, Amanda, Nikolai, Shaelyn, Leslie, Zach, Sequoyah, Violet and Melody.

A memorial celebration of Erdine’s life will be held at Boughton Place on Kisor Road in Highland, NY, on Feb., 1 at 3 p.m. Call or write Karen at 845-255-3972;1 Dug Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in Erdine’s name to a peace and justice organization of your choosing.

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