NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The Library Green Park here has a new name: Ruby Dee Park at Library Green.
The Westchester County Board of Legislators voted unanimously Monday to rename the county park, adjacent to the New Rochelle Public Library, in honor of the legendary actress and civil rights activist. Dee passed away at her New Rochelle home on June 11 at age 91.
“New Rochelle has been graced by having had such a beautiful person as Ruby Dee call New Rochelle home,” Legislator Catherine Parker said after the vote. “For someone who worked so tirelessly for equality for all, it seems only fitting that a park, a place of beauty in nature, which can be enjoyed by all, no matter class, race, or age should be renamed Ruby Dee Park.”
The intimate theater inside the New Rochelle Public Library was renamed in 2005 in honor of Dee’s husband, late actor and activist Ossie Davis.
“In the eyes of the world, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis were major celebrities and stars of stage and screen, but to New Rochelle residents they were very much a part of our community,” legislator Jim Maisano said Monday.
Dee was remembered with a star-studded memorial service at Riverside Church in Manhattan on Saturday. Singer Alicia Keys performed her song Superwoman and a group of actresses, including longtime Mount Vernon resident Phylicia Rashad, performed Dee’s poetry and prose.