Harriette Schmertz, community supporter, was 92


Harriette Lebowitz Schmertz passed away peacefully at her home in Riverdale on Jan. 22, 2024, at the age of 92. She was a 50 plus year resident of Riverdale.

Born on April 10, 1931, she grew up on her parent’s farm in upstate New York, milking cows at 5 a.m. with a rifle strapped to her shoulder (her father, an Orthodox Jew, said she needed to know how to shoot). She later moved to Manhattan and took a job at the old Chrysler Air Conditioning company.

Always feisty and independent, she lived a full and rewarding life. She was married for more than 45 years to the late, Eric Joseph Schmertz, a top New York City arbitrator, dean of Hofstra Law School, and labor commissioner for The City of New York under Mayor David Dinkins. Eric Schmertz passed away in 2010.

Harriette was involved in many community organizations in Riverdale, including being on the board of Riverdale Mental Health, supporting the Bronx Opera and a long time subscriber and supporter of New York City Ballet and Playwrights Horizon. 

Always an animal lover, she proudly raised more than eight dogs and cats. 

She leaves behind four grown children (Ellen, David, Donald and Andrew) and five grandchildren.

Donations may be made to Bronx Opera

Harriette Schmertz, Riverdale Mental Health, Bronx Opera, New York City Ballet, Playwrights Horizon