Featured PieceThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Yorktown Supervisor Tom Diana Remembered for Love of Town

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Yorktown Supervisor Thomas Diana, who died unexpectedly Friday morning after suffering an apparent heart attack at his home in Shrub Oak at the age of 66, was fondly remembered by his peers for his love and dedication to the town where he spent his entire life.

“Tom was an incredible friend to so many. He was filled with energy, an open mind and heart, and a sense of duty, and that influenced everything he did,” Yorktown Deputy Supervisor Ed Lachterman said in a statement.

“The Town of Yorktown lost a giant today,” Yorktown Police Chief Robert Noble wrote in a tribute to Diana on Facebook. “Sometimes, the best of people are regular guys. People who greet you with a smile, a firm handshake and very good intentions. Someone who would stand with you when you were at your lowest. Someone who didn’t gossip and valued old-school ways, while still realizing that the world was indeed changing. Yorktown Town Supervisor Thomas Diana was that type of people.”

A third-generation Yorktown resident, Diana was sworn in New Year’s Day at Yorktown Stage, surrounded by his family, after being elected in November to his first full two-year term. He was appointed supervisor on Jan. 1, 2023, after Matt Slater was elected to the Assembly.

He was first elected as a town councilman in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.

Slater called Diana’s death “a true tragedy and a profound loss for our community.”

“Supervisor Tom Diana was a true public servant who was proud to call Yorktown his home,” Slater said. “He was a terrific police officer and dedicated himself to serving the people of Yorktown on the Town Board.”

After taking his oath, Diana, who the next day ran the first Town Board meeting of 2024, thanked residents for electing him to the position, promising he wouldn’t let them down.

“What we do isn’t easy. You put us here to do a job and we will do that to the best of our ability,” he said. “I am here to serve the greater good of the Town of Yorktown. If you need me, I will try to help you. If I can’t, I will tell you I can’t. I will tell you the truth. It is about family and I consider you all my family.”

During the Town of Cortlandt’s swearing-in ceremony Saturday, several speakers spoke fondly of Diana. The Invocation Prayer and a song were dedicated to him.

“He was just a terrific guy. Just a stand-up person,” Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg said. “His heart was always in it.”

Cortlandt Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker said he used to speak with Diana on a weekly basis.

“It’s a real tragedy,” he said. “We got to work on so many projects. We joked a lot because he was a Republican and I’m a Democrat. He will be sadly, sadly missed.”

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 Putnam County deputy sheriff. After serving Putnam County, he transferred to the Yorktown Police Department as a part of the K9 Unit. He then transferred to the Town of Cortlandt Police Department, where he became patrol commander sergeant.

Diana finished his law enforcement career in the Westchester County Police Department, retiring in March 2005.

He also owned a heating oil business for years with his wife, Donna, 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 and was an avid boater and a licensed boat captain. He also 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.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Megan, her husband, William, and their children, Emma Marie and Gracie Lynn, daughter Brianna, her husband, Steven, and their children, Penelope Rose and Daisy Row.

Following a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak on Tuesday, Diana was laid to rest at Assumption Cemetery in Cortlandt.

Meanwhile, as deputy supervisor, Lachterman will assume the duties of running the town “while we process this tragic moment for our community,” he said.

According to town law, the Yorktown Town Board has 30 days to appoint someone to fill Diana’s position. It will then have to decide whether to hold a special election sometime this year or wait until Election Day in November.

If one of the four Town Board members is chosen, the board will then have to decide if it wants to appoint a fifth member.



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