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Former Supervisor Diana Honored at Two Naming Ceremonies

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Former Yorktown supervisor Tom Diana was honored twice last Saturday by town officials, family and friends.

Diana, who died unexpectedly Jan. 5 at his longtime Shrub Oak home at the age of 66, just a few days after taking the oath of office for his first full term as Yorktown’s top chief executive, was first celebrated June 8 at Granite Knolls Recreation and Sports Complex on Stoney Street – the roadway where he lived with his family.

Town officials renamed the facility Tom Diana Park at Granite Knolls Recreation and Sports Complex.

Yorktown Supervisor Ed Lachterman said the renaming of the park was spearheaded by a group of citizens who circulated a petition.

“This is not only a great example of how our government listens to and responds to the public, but a fitting tribute to a son of Yorktown who was born, raised and passed away, literally down the street from this park,” Lachterman said. “Tom was a fierce advocate for our children and his dedication to our parks, and improvement of Granite Knolls in particular, are rightfully recognized by this renaming.”

On Sept. 21, 2010, the Town Board, led by then-supervisor Susan Siegel, voted to acquire more than 198 acres for $2.7 million from the town’s open space fund for parkland on Stoney Street. (Councilmen Terrence Murphy and Vishnu Patel also supported the transaction, while councilmen Nick Bianco and Jim Martorano were absent from the meeting.)

In 2019, the Granite Knolls facility, which includes two full-size multipurpose fields, a baseball field with press box and bleachers, basketball courts, pickleball courts and an inclusive playground for children of all abilities, opened after several years of discussion during Supervisor Michael Grace’s administration. Supervisor Ilan Gilbert was in office when the park officially was unveiled for use.

The $6 million facility was funded by Enbridge, which was replacing sections of the Algonquin gas pipeline that runs through the town.

A short time later on Saturday, a portion of East Main Street in Shrub Oak near the John C. Hart Library and the town’s 9/11 Remembrance area was renamed Supervisor Tom Diana Memorial Highway.

Diana’s widow, Donna, who is running in a special election next month for a vacant seat on the Town Board, thanked everyone for their support since her husband’s death.

“Today is a very special day for me and my family,” she said. “This is an honor. We’re so happy and so proud of how he served Yorktown. When he passed, I thought about selling my home and moving. Tom would never have left Yorktown. It’s hard because we miss him, but the love and the compassion people have shown us is unbelievable.”

Lachterman, who was elected earlier this year to succeed Diana, noted his close friend planted a Christmas tree on the library property where the ceremony was held.

“When I think of East Main Street and I think of Shrub Oak I think of Tom Diana,” Lachterman said. “I think of the pride, I think of the joy, I think of how much this area meant to him.”

During his election campaign last October, Diana talked about his fondness for Yorktown.

“It’s just a great place to live. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to be,” Diana said.

“I honestly love this job because I’m able to do things and help people. I’ve been a problem solver my whole life. The worst part of this job is not being able to help someone for whatever reason.”

A third generation Yorktown resident, Diana was born Jan. 21, 1957, in Shrub Oak to Henry Paul Diana and Maurine Audra Power Diana. He graduated from Lakeland High School in 1975.

He then started his long career in public service as a Putnam County deputy sheriff. After serving Putnam County, he transferred to the Yorktown Police Department as a part of the K-9 Unit. He then transferred to the Town of Cortlandt Police Department, where he became patrol commander sergeant. Diana finished his law enforcement career with the Westchester County Police Department, retiring in March 2005.

He also owned a heating oil business for years with his wife, until they sold it last October.

Besides his community service, Diana enjoyed many hobbies, his favorite being drag racing. He was a big supporter of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He successfully raised a graduate pup named Nacho. He also loved the sea and sky. He was an avid boater and a licensed boat captain and had received his pilot’s license.

Diana was an integral part of initiating the Yorktown Against Heroin Program and was a member of many organizations, including the Yorktown Elks, Circolo DaVinci Italian Club and Sons of the American Legion.

He was first elected as a Yorktown councilman in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019. He was appointed supervisor on Jan. 1, 2023, after Matt Slater was elected to the state Assembly. He defeated Jann Mirchandani last November to earn a full term as supervisor.


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