Woodhaven mourns loss of two civic-minded neighbors
by Ed Wendell
Jan 27, 2012 | 544 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dee Garvey (left) and Susan Farrell.
Dee Garvey (left) and Susan Farrell.
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Sometimes we get so caught up in the little controversies in our daily lives that we miss the big picture. Woodhaven lost two of its' treasures over the past week and we should all take a moment to acknowledge that loss. Even if you didn't know these two women personally, if you live in Woodhaven they touched your life.

Delia "Dee" Garvey was the President of the American Legion Auxiliary, a position which allowed her to promote the values of the American Legion throughout Woodhaven and all of Queens County. She was also a fixture at American Legion Post 118 on 89th Avenue.

"She led annual Flag Day ceremonies, American Legion Girls state activities, poppy sales to help our Veterans," said Dennis Farley, who described Ms. Garvey as 88th Avenue's Block Captain. "Just last month she gathered Christmas gifts for the Veterans at St. Albans Veterans Hospital and helped organize a party there for the veterans. Woodhaven has lost a great citizen and a wonderful woman."

Susan Rae Farrell was an active member of our community, regularly attending Woodhaven Town Hall meetings as well as gatherings of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society. She was also a member of Community Board 9 and was invested in Woodhaven's issues until the very end of her life.

For example, there is a controversy currently brewing about two street changes proposed by the Department of Transportation. It was Susan Farrell who forwarded the e-mail from an outraged resident to the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association back on January 4th, giving us just enough time to mobilize and successfully lobby for a postponement of the vote. Her lovely mother Lillian summed up the situation perfectly when she said that "life was going to be very dull without Susan."

Indeed, we owe a debt of gratitude to them both and we are going to miss them deeply. Over the past few decades they both worked tirelessly to protect and preserve the values and standards that has made Woodhaven a special community for well over a century. And with every loss of a community treasure such as Susan or Dee there is a growing concern that with each passing year there are less and less people willing and able to fill the shoes of those who went before them.

However, over the past few months we've seen a lot of new faces at the monthly Town Hall meetings of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association and we hope that from this crop of newcomers will rise the next generation of Dee Garveys and Susan Farrells, those who will carry the ball and help protect and preserve our community as it moves further into the 21st Century.

The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association holds a public Town Hall gathering at 1 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, located at 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.

If you are interested in getting more involved in your community that would be an ideal place to start. Come down and meet your friends and neighbors who, like Dee and Susan, care deeply about our community. You can also e-mail the WRBA at info@woodhaven-nyc.org.

Ed Wendell is the President of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Assocation and is also the President of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society.

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