Our dear NYC neighbor, at 301 East 62nd Street, Dyan Schwall, 93, died March 1, in her Vero Beach FL, home.
She and her husband of 37 years, Herman K. Schwall, lived on the 10th floor with us for almost four decades. She was the epitome of pure elegance.
They were the best neighbors. We would meet them at the incinerator when we were all simultaneously throwing out garbage, or waiting for the elevator to leave the building. Dyan and Herm were always thrilled to see us, especially Whitney. Hugs and kisses, with lots of chatter, were always shared.
Herm was a VP at Ford Motor Company. Dyan was the social butterfly of the Hamptons before she met Herm. She raised her six children in Southampton, and was always hosting dinner parties because she was a fabulous cook and baker. Yes, celebs and politicians often showed up.
Herm served on the Board of Directors of our NYC co-op with Eliot. We would invite Dyan and Herm to HWH PR press parties to help fill the room, and before we knew it, they were ensconced in deep conversations with other guests. We never had to worry about them. They knew how to work the room.
The big bonus was when they attended one of our parties in Miami Beach about 16 years ago and brought along Dyan’s artist son, John, who lived across Biscayne Bay. Needless to say, we are now super friendly with John, and own two of his magnificent paintings. We attend a lot of events together.
John’s masterpieces We first saw them at John’s one man show in Southampton. A few years later we were lucky enough to own them.
Dyan and Herm still own their NYC coop even though they haven’t visited it in a number of years. They just were more content staying in Florida year round. I think that started just when Eliot and I moved to Miami full time.
Herm is now experiencing dementia so I’m not even sure he knows Dyan is gone. Everyone once in a while he will ask his caretaker “what happened to the nice lady who used to live here?” It breaks our heart to hear that because the two of them were a dynamic duo.
Dyan is survived by her four sons – James DeCristofaro and his wife Amaryn of Alexandria VA, John DeCristofaro of Miami FL, Christopher DeCristofaro and his wife Margaret of Southampton NY, Joseph DeCristofaro and his wife Maria of Southampton NY – and her two daughters – Catherine deCristofaro of San Francisco CA and Susan Harris of Mountain Home AR – her six grandchildren – James, Jeff, Michael, Shannon, Cameron and Alexa – and three great-grandchildren – KC, Oakley, and Hudson, as well as her deceased brother Herbie’s wife Joyce Dobrozensky of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and her many nieces and nephews.