Hellen Osgood beams when talking about her walking buddy and popular Greenwich Village activist Doris Diether, who died Thursday.  

“She was a very strong, loving, outspoken, caring woman, and I just adored her,” Osgood said.

What You Need To Know

  • Doris Diether had served on Community Board 2 since 1964

  • Diether lived a block away from Washington Square Park and frequented it often

  • Over the years, Diether received many proclamations and honors for her community service

Doris Diether was 92 years old. She was a well-known figure in her neighborhood who served on Community Board 2 for almost 60 years.

New York state Senator Brad Hoylman said she was a very powerful fixture on the board and understood the intricacies of zoning and landmarks like no other.  

“We called her the zoning maven. She understood zoning better than many of the lawyers who represented developers who appeared before the community board. She had the institutional knowledge to really protect the village,” Hoylman said.

“Doris was instrumental in saving the music in Washington Square Park,” said Osgood, pointing to a poster she made.

Osgood said to see Doris on a walk through her favorite Washington Square Park was to see a woman fully embraced by her community.

“It would take forever to walk Doris through the park because so many people loved her. Everyone just wanted to stop and kiss and greet her,” Osgood said.

Washington Square Park was basically Doris’ front yard. She lived just a block away and was affectionately known here as the Queen.

Taquila Minsky was one of the many people who crossed paths with Doris in Washington Square Park, at a music festival over 15 years ago.

“Doris was very opinionated, but she was very good-humored, and when I think about Doris and all causes she took up, and let me tell you, there were plenty,” Minsky said.  

Over the years Doris has received many proclamations and honors for her community service.

Tributes from local politicians, colleagues and neighbors have been posted on social media.  

“When I think of Doris, I think of the 4 c’s. Cats, Chardonnay, chocolate mousse cake and Christmas cards,” Osgood said.

Like many who knew her, Hellen believes New York City lost a living legend and has truly made her community a better place.

“Doris made me feel like there was an possibility in making everything better. She never gave up. She was always in for a fight for the good, for the better,” Osgood said.