Obituaries – February and January 2018

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A Tribute to David Swope, 76

Kind, gentle, warm-hearted and humble – David Swope possessed all of these soulful traits and more, which is rare for a generous philanthropist, community leader and business owner. He passed away at home on January 31after a long and debilitating illness. But, typical of his quietly courageous self, he was undaunted to the end.

David had served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College in Valhalla, the Teatown Lake Reservation Environmental Education Center in Ossining and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. As a co-founder of Club Fit health and fitness centers in Briarcliff Manor and Jefferson Valley, he was a pioneer in the development of full service health and fitness membership clubs. He was also the owner of Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, now Abigail Kirsch catering.

Born in Mount Kisco on September 24, 1941, he was the son of David and Sarah (Sally) Porter Swope and a third generation Ossining resident. His grandfather, Gerard Swope Sr., was President of General Electric and owned The Croft, a large equestrian-oriented estate which was donated by the family to form the original part of Teatown Lake Reservation.

David, known as Dee to family and friends, graduated from the Scarborough School in Briarcliff Manor and the Loomis School in Connecticut. He was a graduate of Harvard University and earned a law degree from Columbia University.

In the early 1960s, he answered President Kennedy’s call and joined the Peace Corps, spending two and a half years in India. This proved to be a life-changing experience and forged his life-long interest and love of India, Indian art and culture. It also inspired him to form a legal aid society in Bombay (Mumbai.) Throughout his life, he visited India and maintained an extensive network of Indian friends both at home and abroad.

After returning to the U.S., he worked as an attorney in Manhattan. David moved back to Ossining to assume his father’s business interests when he became ill; these included the Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley Racquet Clubs and Tappan Hill. His father had also been the developer of Tappan Landing.

As he entered his 60s, David gradually shifted away from his business interests and devoted his time to non-profit organizations. Throughout his adult life he played a major role in the evolution and growth of Teatown, and he also supported numerous other environmental organizations and programs including the Westchester Land Trust and the Pace University Environmental Center. He spent many years on the Westchester Community College Board including overseeing the search for a new president to succeed long-time president Dr. Joseph Hankin. This effort culminated in hiring Dr. Belinda Miles, the current President.

David took an early interest in the creation and continued growth of the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC)  and served as board chairman, spear-heading the creation of the  JBFC’s Media Arts Lab. His prodigious fund-raising skills and passionate support helped the Burns achieve this major expansion as well as insure continuing outreach through extensive educational programming. He also served on the boards of the Ossining Children’s Center and Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, and offered generous financial support to numerous other groups and organizations.

David traveled extensively having visited every continent; he had friends across the nation and the globe.

He is survived by his sister, Dorothea (Dorry) Swope, by many cousins and by hundreds of friends. Funeral services will be private. Those interested in making contributions in David’s memory are asked to consider Teatown Lake Reservation, Westchester Community College, the Jacob Burns Film Center or a worthy organization of their choice.

Lois Bronz, 90

Lois Bronz, who had a long career in politics and civic activism, died February 12. She was 90.

She was born August 20, 1927 in New Orleans Louisiana, attended St Mary’s Academy and received her bachelors’ degree at Xavier University New Orleans, and a Master’s degree in Education from Wayne State University. She worked for many years as an educator, a math teacher at every level from K-12 through College/University.

Her father’s interest in politics stirred in her a healthy curiosity in politics and avid advocacy for citizen participation in government. She became active in voter registration and founded the League of Good Government in New Orleans.

Elected to the Greenburgh Town Board in 1976, she went on to become the first African-American Woman elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators in 1993. Later elected as chair in 2002, she then served on the board until 2009. As a legislator she was most proud of her leadership in getting the landmark legislation passed that created the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. She considered “affordable housing” her middle name.

“Lois Bronz was a dedicated, courageous, and kind-hearted leader,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “Lois tore down barriers. We are fortunate that she did. Lois opened the door for other women and African Americans to serve our communities, and she was indispensable in advancing justice, equality, and opportunity in Westchester. May her memory be a blessing.”

She was the loving wife of 50 years to the late Charles Bronz. She is survived by her son Edgar Louis Jr., his wife Mary Irene, Lois’ daughter Francine, four grandchildren: Dorian, Nora Eloise, Edgar Louis III, and Gyasi, one great-grandchild Micah, and a host of nieces and nephews. Her daughter Shelly preceded her in death.

William Herguth, 72

William G. Herguth, a lifelong resident of Tarrytown and longtime member of the village Police Department, died February 15. He was 72.

On May 16, 1967, he was appointed to the Tarrytown Police Department and he held the position of Police Officer, Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant, a position he held for 28 years. He was in charge of the Field Services Division that encompassed the civil division and all major criminal cases. He retired in 2016. He enjoyed his work and always considered it very rewarding. He was a member of the PBA of Westchester County, the Police Emerald Society of Westchester and the Westchester County Detectives Assn. He was also a 54-year member of the Tarrytown Fire Department serving with Washington Engine Co. #2.

He was born in Tarrytown on January 10, 1946 to Katherine Rose Herguth and Henry E. Herguth. He was predeceased by his first wife Margaret A. Corry, who passed away in 1983. Together they had two sons who survive. In 1986 by a remarkable occurrence he met Elizabeth A. Guarini. They were married June 6, 1987. Bill cherished “Lizzie,” who survives him. He is also survived by his son Patrick W. Herguth (Sunny), grandsons Aidan M. Herguth and Logan W. Herguth of Sudbury, MA and his son Daniel T. Herguth (Amy) and granddaughter Sydney Katherine Herguth of Tarrytown. Mr. Herguth was very proud of his sons. His sister, Sally M. Herguth of Tarrytown, also survives him. He was predeceased by his brother Edward M. Herguth.

On May 16, 1967 he was appointed to the Tarrytown Police Department and he held the position of Police Officer, Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant, a position he held for 28 years. He was in charge of the Field Services Division that encompassed the civil division and all major criminal cases. He retired in 2016. He enjoyed his work and always considered it very rewarding. He was a member of the PBA of Westchester County, the Police Emerald Society of Westchester and the Westchester County Detectives Assn. He was also a 54 year member of the Tarrytown Fire Department serving with Washington Engine Co. #2.

Mildred Crosby, 94

Mildred S. Crosby, a longtime resident of Irvington, died January 30 surrounded by her loving family. She was 94.

She was born in the Bronx and moved to Irvington in 1939. She attended Irvington High School. She worked in her father’s furrier shop on East 48th Street and on the families “Mink Farm” in East Irvington. In the early 1960s she started her career at the Irvington School system, including many years at the High School Library. She loved working with the many students in Irvington and many will remember her as she helped her students research their school projects.

She met her soul mate James Harold Crosby at a USO Club in NYC and on December 2, 1946 they were married. Mildred and Jim were married for 70 years and never went anywhere without each other. In 1968 they built their dream home on the “Mink Farm,” which they dearly loved. They were long-time members of the Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Crosby loved gardening, the book club, and boating with her husband on Lake George, NY. They attended many Irvington Seniors Citizen events and enjoyed walks along the parks in Irvington. She very much enjoyed spending time with her two boys and her grandchildren.

Joseph Foley, 80

Joseph Patrick Foley, a 50-year resident of Irvington, died February 16. He was 80.

He graduated from Regis High School in New York City in 1955 and from Manhattan College (BEE) in 1959 and from Boston College Law School in 1963. He served for three years in the U.S. Air Force (Lt). He started his legal career at the Manhattan District Attorneys’ Office, later worked at the law firm of Cahill Gordon and as senior attorney at Texaco, Inc., in Harrison. Between 1976 and 1993, he served as the Chairman of the Town of Greenburgh Zoning Board of Appeals and was an active member of Transfiguration Parish.

Mario “Mayito” Bernal, 83

Mario ‘Mayito’ Bernal, a resident and business owner in Tarrytown, died February 4. He was 83.

He was born in Cuba on June 18, 1934 and came to the United States in 1966 where he settled and raised his family. He was a well-known business man in North Tarrytown. People will remember him as the proprietor of Nite & Day Deli and Las Americas Grocery Store.

Emilio Mastropaolo, 56

Emilio Mastropaolo, a longtime Sleepy Hollow resident, died unexpectedly February 6. He was 56.

He was born on June 22, 1961 in Campobaso, Italy to Edmondo and Ambrosina Muccilli Mastropaolo. He had been working at Allerga, Inc, a pharmaceutical compa

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