Welcome to the Legacy Project, founded by Irvington High School students Lexi Weintraub and Sharon Draytsel (Class of 2020). The Legacy Project is a digital archive of the memorial plaques and trees located in Scenic Hudson Park. Below you will find photos of the dedicated trees and stones, along with a brief message provided by each tree sponsor. If you have a memorial in the park and wish to be included, please contact the Irvington Parks and Recreation Department. Thank you for your support!
Dominic DiMele “DJ”
DJ, we remember your loving smile and beautiful eyes. My wonderful Dows Lane Family picked this tree because it was right next to the baseball field where you always excelled. We have the windchimes on your tree because you were an amazing musician. We will always miss your warm hugs and awesome sense of humor. For as long as we live you will be part of us. We will cherish and love you eternally.
Dows Lane Family
Valentine and Thomas Low, Low and Chu Family Members
To my mother, a single parent who gave me love. To my loving brother Edwin, a proud WWII veteran. Laura Jane you will always be remembered.
In memory of our parents, who came to America, had five children, and a successful business. They provided for our education and taught us to be independent.
Irene, Mary, Tom, Betty, and David
“Mutti” and “Vati”
“Mutti” was Janine Chung Thompson's beloved Grandmother Elfriede Heumann, born in Neustaedel, Poland in 1920. She married “Vati” Friedrich Hespenheide and both survived the second world war with three children. Together they moved to Bremen, Germany, where “Vati” set up his first business. He was entrepreneurial and a gentleman. She was a lady, quiet and soft spoken, loved a good crossword puzzle, keeping the house in order, and was a wonderful chef, too. We would visit her every week for lunch and enjoyed her mother’s old recipes including latkes with applesauce, cabbage soup, dumplings, and our favorite...apple cake with cream! Thinking of Mutti and Vati I am reminded of the times when we were all together as a big family in one place celebrating birthdays, holidays, and other great milestones at their home. They were a real anchor in changing times and we miss them dearly, but when the sweet scent of cinnamon infuses our home, our children know that “Mutti and Vati” are only ever a recipe away while their loving presence can be felt with the cold cream melting on her warm, apple cake on a crisp autumn day.
Janine Chung Thompson
“Leon and Ricki Chung”
Kok Leong Chung was resolutely British and one of ten sons of Chung Thye Phin and a grandson of Chung Ah Kwee, who was a Chinese Mandarin, principal peace negotiator during the Larut wars, a leading chinese industrialist and philanthropist. I state this first, because my father’s identity was profoundly important to him. To us, he was simply known as “Dad”. Yet, circumstances were such that he never really got to actually “be” that until I was 15 years old. He taught me how to drive, which inadvertently included a roll back maneuver in a Buick across a four way intersection and swerving along West Cliff Drive close to our home in Santa Cruz, CA. Within a year of getting to know one another we became inseparable. He especially loves my Grandmother’s apple cake with cream! But more than that he loved chocolates. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, melted chocolate, chocolate chips and above all Swiss chocolates that reminded him of his adventure filled years in Europe. Every time when a visit back to him would end with good wishes to family abroad, he would always shout from the comfort of his chair “Don’t forget to send the chocolates!” I miss you Dad. Janine Chung Thompson
Frederic Ronald Arthur Chung was my brother who died suddenly and much too early at age 44 on my father’s birthday in 2012. He was an adventurer, loved people, and enjoyed to travel and explore. From Europe to India and the US at his base he discovered the world through his many relationships. The most important relationship during his life, however, was his beloved wife and his daughter Josi. Someone once said, when you leave this place, there is nothing but the love you leave behind. Ricki lived his life to the fullest until that day, and he leaves us with his spirit, sense of adventure, love for life and great perseverance. He rose from a time of great adversity like a phoenix from the ashes and became the proud owner of the Winkler Studios, which to this day produces the videos he so enjoyed directing. My sadness of the loss of my little brother remains unspeakable, but in my heart I can still hear the laughter when we were playing hide and seek in the thick of the bushes of our blue hydrangeas in Bremen, Germany.
Daniel Gilligan came to Irvington in 1861, this date takes you back to America’s Civil War, by 1880 he was married to Catherine F. Cooney and living at 113-115 Main Street (which today houses Houlihan Lawrence Inc.) Over the next 22 years they had 10 children all of which were born at the 113 Main Street home. 1st son John 1-11-1882, 2nd son Valentine 1-14-1883, 1st daughter Frances 2-27-1884, 3rd son Frank 10-8-1885, 2nd daughter Adelaide 7-25-1887, 4th son James 2-2-1889, 5th son Raymond 4-7-1891, 3rd daughter Grace 12-6-1892, 6th son Albert 1-16-1895, 4th daughter Blanche 1-1-1902. These 10 children produced 16 grandchildren and they produced 41 great grandchildren and so the Gilligan family is very large, and has been represented in Irvington since 1861.
Kimberley Kay Shaak Panjwani
Kimberley Kay Shaak Panjwani was born on a cold afternoon, December 30th, 1964 in Denver, Colorado. The night before her birth, her father Bernard, her uncle John, her older sister Leslie, and her mother Carolyn decided that if the baby was a girl, her name would be Kimberley (with an “e”) after the famously beautiful Kimberley Diamond Mines in South Africa. Singer, dancer, piano player, Kim reflected a rhythm of life that was contagious. She made friends easily and was adored by scores of people all over the world - not surprising that her career choice was in intercultural communications. Kim affirmed life and brought out the best qualities in everyone she met. And, oh yes, she was a stunning game player. It was fun playing with her, even if you lost. Kim made life thrilling for her two sons, Nicholas Rohan and Evan Rahul, her husband Raju, her younger sister Jamie, her whole family, and all her many friends. Her life, sparked as bright and authentically as all the diamonds in Africa. Carolyn Shaak
Aunt of Irvington resident Brian Dunefsky, as well as his brothers, Adam and Eric Dunefsky, and sister of Jerome Dunefsky.
Mother of Irvington resident Brian Dunefsky, as well as his brothers, Adam and Eric Dunefsky, and wife of Jerome Dunefsky.
Maryann and Frank Maugeri
In honor of your birthdays, (April 26), this tree with love and gratitude, is dedicated to Mom and Dad. We hope it can become a living symbol of your love for each other and the life you have created together. May it grow strong with time, and its branches multiply.
Greg, Marie, Danielle, Gregory, and Michael, Carl, Thea, Cynthia, and Frances
This tree is a memorial in remembrance of our brother and brother-in-law, Tom, who died of ALS in 2004. Tom lived in Ardsley, but he would come to this park for comfort and exercise during his illness. The beauty of the park matches Tom’s inner beauty perfectly!
Chris, Pat, and Shyrl McCormick
In memory of
Our tree commemorates our son Will. He was a passionate chef, a competitive dirt bike racer, and a wonderful storyteller. He had two brothers, Tom and Chris, and one sister, Kathy. He had many friends. He was also devoted to his dog, Tino. He passed away on May 9, 2007, at the age of 19. We love to see how often there are people sitting near his tree. He was a joy.
Susan and Brad Breen
Catherine and Nicholas Guglielmo
Our parents Catherine and Nicholas Guglielmo were born in the Bronx, NY, and met at a young age. Our dad worked for the City of New York, and at one point in our lives, he worked 3 jobs. Our mom was a stay at home mom. They provided a happy and loving family home for us, which was later transferred to their 7 grandchildren. They had a tremendous impact on each of our lives. We live each day with happy memories of them especially always remembering the values and life lessons they taught us - most importantly the value of family. Kathy Guglielmo
We spent an arduous year and found solace in the park. Now we all practice meditation and find the park a good place to do it. The plaque we placed commemorated this experience and gave us a place to return for all time.
Donald E. Durham
Loving husband and wonderful father to our two daughters.
Henry and Terry Reinhardt, and Barbara Pecora
Henry was a career fireman who retired as the Fire Chief in Eastchester. His hobbies were “anything transportation”. He was a frequent visitor of Scenic Hudson as he enjoyed walking along the water, relaxing on a bench, and watching the trains and boats pass by. Views of the NY Skyline and Tappan Zee Bridge added to the attraction and beauty of the park.
Terry was a housewife that loved to host gatherings at her home. She radiated joy to all that attended and she was a pleasure to be around. She was very proud to be a 25 year old volunteer at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. Terry really enjoyed visiting the park with Henry.
Barbara Pecora, daughter of Henry and Terry, was a kind and gentle soul that took the time to interact with everyone she met. She loved animals, the ocean, and Broadway musicals.
Henry, Terry, and Barbara were all born in Westchester County and were lifetime residents of Eastchester. They appreciated the beauty of Westchester County and the Hudson River.
In Honor and Memory of the Seus Family, Irvington Residents Since 1902
In 1902 August Seus, a German immigrant, moved with his wife Anna and 3 children from NYC to Irvington, where he would open a barbershop. Two of the children, August Jr (Gus) and Helen (see Bronnes/Durham) lived in Irvington the rest of their lives. After serving as a soldier in Europe during WWI, Gus married Edna Cowlin and in 1920 they moved into a house on N. Eckar St. Gus was a carpenter who eventually started his own business, Seus Construction, working on many homes and buildings in Irvington. Gus and Edna has one son, Donald, born in 1921, who would live for 93 years on N. Eckar St in the same house. When Don was stationed in Prestwick Scotland during WWII, he met a young Scottish girl, Janet (Netta) Barbour, on a putting green on a Sunday afternoon. After the war was over, Netta travelled to NYC on the War Brides ships and she married Don in the Irvington Presbyterian Church. Don and Netta had two children, Thomas and Audrey, the third generation of the Seus family to graduate from Irvington High School. In 2016, Netta moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to her children, ending 114 years of Seus Family residence in Irvington. (For more info on growing up in Irvington in the 1920s/1930s and Don and Netta’s life together, check out the Fall 2013 back issue of The Roost on the Irvington Historical Society website.)
Herman Markowitz was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Herman emigrated from Czechoslovakia one month before the outbreak of World War II. He then served in the U.S. Army during the war. Herman built a successful business and was a generous friend to many. About his move to America, he wrote: “I was the luckiest of all.”
Nadine Markowitz was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. As a passionate educator, she taught English to immigrants from around the world. Nadine was also a sensitive writer and lover of nature. In the words of William Blake, she could “see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower.”
Jack was always friendly and outgoing. He never met a stranger and enjoyed conversations with anyone he met. He is missed every day and is now having those conversations with family and friends on the other side. We miss you Jack
Gail, Bryan & Dawn
Theresa Deerson Shayne
Sitting at the base of my mother’s highly favored tree, a birch, is a plaque in her memory. As the tree looks out poetically to her home from birth on the Manhattan skyline, it seems surprisingly symbolic of her own struggles. Fighting its own challenges against direct exposure to the wind and cold of the majestic Hudson in winter, it looks like more of a bush than a full grown tree. Nonetheless, it endures! Theresa Deerson Shayne died in 2006 at the age of 80, after 16 years of battling Parkinson’s Disease. An artist, sculptor of clay and stone, painter, English teacher to immigrants, interior designer by profession, she had a great sense of humor, a devotion to her family, was frisky as a terrier, (aptly living up to her nickname of Teri), and was a constant source of love, counsel, and wisdom to me at every age. Not everyone can say that their mother was their best friend, but one sip of a frozen hot chocolate with her at Serendipity, and you knew you shared something more powerful, more heartfelt than mere words or even genetics! She will be missed forevermore, and we will always dance in the light of her memory.
Margaret and George Nilsson
My parents Margaret and George Nilsson were raised in Irvington and lived most of their lives there. My mother Margaret was born in Galson Ayrshire, Scotland and immigrated with her family in 1929. She lived at 8 Main Street in an apartment in the Burnham building where her father worked. Popular and outgoing, Mom worked in New York City after high school. My father George was from a large Swedish family and lived at 14 Croton Place along with his 6 brothers and sisters. My father was a gifted basketball player at IHS and served 4 years in the Army including 2 years stationed in the Philippines during WWII. His name is listed on the Veterans War Memorial on Main Street. After the War my father bought and operated the Corner Store in Irvington for 10 years. Later he worked at Irvington Builders Supply on Astor Street. They married in 1950 and together raised 3 children - Eric, Amy, and Todd on Woodbine Road in Spiro Park. They retired to Cape Cod Massachusetts in 1988 and are interred at the National Military Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts. They both loved everything about their life in Irvington and I am happy to see they have a permanent memorial to their memory at Scenic Hudson Park.
Lou was a wonderful husband, dad to 4 daughters and grandpa. His "girls" were the ones who surprised me with the tree on his first birthday in heaven. They knew their dad loved to walk around the park while under hospice care. For 30 years he lived and owned a pharmacy in Valley Cottage, NY. Lou was a Viet Nam veteran who served with the 1st infantry division (1965-66). He passed away on Veteran's Day, 2010. May God bless the military and all veterans. Gerry Gerencser