Roosevelt Islander Online: Sad News, Roosevelt Island Woman Of Distinction Judy Buck Passed Away

Sad news to report the death of Roosevelt Island resident Judy Buck. 

Christina Delfico reports:

Many have heard of the sad passing of our dear neighborhood friend, Judy
Her younger brother, David, wished to share that a memorial gathering
for Judy will be held on Tuesday, July 20th in two locations. 

first from noon to 1pm on 7/20/21 at the church next to the tram at All
Saints Episcopal Church 230 East 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave.
NYC, and the second on 7/20/21 from 2pm to 4pm at Granny Annie’s
Restaurant at 425 Main Street, Roosevelt Island.

Judy Buck served as co-chair, alongside Ellen Polivy, on the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC), a group of island organizations that advocated for protection of community life during the years of Cornell Tech’s construction and beyond. RICC pushed for barging rather than truck traffic to transport construction materials, urged Cornell Tech’s “adoption” of Roosevelt Island’s PS 217, and raised issues of increasing needs for transportation, and worked to get a discounted rate for residents at the new Graduate Hotel on Cornell Tech’s campus. Judy also sat on Community Board 8’s Roosevelt Island Committee, and was appointed by State Senator Jose Serrano to the Cornell Tech Community Construction Task Force Committee. She was honored by Assembly Member Seawright as a local Women of Distinction and City Council Member Kallos for her years of volunteer service to the community on RICC. She also contributed articles to the local newspaper, the WIRE.

Professionally, Buck was an Advertising Manager for Random House Trade Division, she worked as a writer and copy chief for a number of New York City advertising agencies (as portrayed in the TV show “Mad Men!”) and spent a decade at New York University as the Assistant Director of Development, where she solicited funding for faculty initiatives that included early reading intervention, research on HIV-AIDS prevention, recovery for female victims of human trafficking, and environmental education. She was a volunteer for Louise Wise Services, and served on the boards of the Hell’s Kitchen AIDS Project and the St. Cecilia Chorus of New York.

Judy influenced many. Her kind nature, wicked smarts and deep interest in community happenings was beloved by friends on Roosevelt Island and throughout the city, including dear friends from her former neighborhood in the 60s.

David hopes you can join the memorial gathering and welcomes friends to share a few words and deeply appreciates the friendships and kindness shown to Judy on Roosevelt Island.

Sharon Bermon adds:

Judy bravely fought several kinds of cancer for more than a decade. When I was diagnosed with cancer almost ten years ago, she found out, contacted me and offered to guide me through the initial stages of decision making. I remember going to her apartment for breakfast and information. She was a quiet person who didn’t want to call attention to herself, but was generous with her time. She was a skilled writer. At NYU, she was a development officer, and used her writing skills for RI after her retirement. 

One of the things that I found frustrating is that she served on several organizations in a policy making position. She would do all the work, the research, the writing – but allowed others the credit.  I asked Judy a number of times to take more credit for all the work she did, but Judy was unwilling to make waves.  

I think many of us felt that Judy was the most intelligent, the most competent of all the “community leaders” on the island.
I know it’s too late for her to get credit for her work – in her lifetime – but hopefully, it would be good if RI residents understood why we owe her a debt of gratitude.

Here’s Judy Buck seated at right helping out at a 2015 iDig2Learn Monarch Butterfly Corridor Milkweed planting at Lighthouse Park.

Image From David Stone & Deborah Julian

Also, here’s Ms Buck speaking for the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) at August 5, 2017 event welcoming Cornell Tech and doing her best to make sure concerns of Roosevelt Island residents are heard and addressed by Cornell Tech.

Condolences to Ms Buck’s family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.  

Thank you Judy.


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