Tributes poured in for Dee Richard, the borough’s legendary political columnist, who died Tuesday afternoon at her Beechhurst home after a brief illness. She was 86.
A longtime contributor to TimesLedger Newspapers, her “Dishing with Dee” column tracked the behind-the-scenes developments in the borough’s political circles and captured the public personas of Queens lawmakers in her photo pages. She also followed the borough’s social scene through her coverage of fund-raisers and parties at many of Queens’ watering holes.
“Dee was a fixture in Queens politics and the community and her column was a must-read for all of Queens,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), chairman of the Queens Democratic Party. “But beyond her many contributions to the community, Dee was a wonderful person whose larger-than-life personality will be missed.”
Borough President Helen Marshall said, “Dee’s dry wit, sense of humor, creativity and knowledge of Queens, its government and politics combined to make her a welcome presence everywhere she went.”
Marshall said her coverage of events in both words and pictures for several Queens newspapers over the years “will be part of her lasting legacy.”
City Comptroller John Liu said Richard, “dubbed the gossip queen of Queens, will be sorely missed. Feisty and funny, she deftly chronicled — and at times skewered — the borough’s political life.”
She filed her last column and photo page, “Focus on Queens,” for TimesLedger Monday.
She is survived by her husband, Jim Darmos.
Viewing hours were scheduled at Gleason’s Funeral Home, at 149-20 Northern Blvd., Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A funeral mass will be held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Avellino Church, at 35-60 158th St. in Flushing. Burial will follow at Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington, L.I.
Donations in her memory can be made to the American Heart Association.
— Roz Liston