In Memoriam — Richard K. DeScherer

Richard K. DeScherer (Dick), 79, of New York, New York, passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children on March 23, 2024. Dick was born to Mildred and Bernard DeScherer in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 7, 1944.

Devoted husband to Jennie L. DeScherer for almost 57 years, father of Christopher K. DeScherer (Amanda Honeycutt) and Kate Anne DeScherer, and proud grandfather of five grandchildren who adored him: Emmett, Serena and George DeScherer, and Emily and Madeline DeSantis.

Dick was the eldest of three children, grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, and graduated from The Englewood School for Boys in 1962.

While attending a fraternity brother's wedding in Charleston, SC, he met the love of his life, Jennie (Levkoff). Jennie and Dick were married in 1967 and have been devoted partners in life ever since.

Even while growing up in Englewood, Dick’s parents often talked about possibly moving to Snedens Landing in Palisades. With that seed planted at an early age, Dick and Jennie always had their eye on Snedens and first began renting the “Ferry House” on the banks of the Hudson River in the mid-1980s, and ultimately purchased the house and adjoining properties in the years to come. One of the first people Dick ran into after renting the Ferry House was Roger Hooker, a lawyer and friend he first met after moving to New York in the early 1970s. The DeScherer and Hooker families immediately reconnected and became close family friends – a preview of things to come as Dick loved the people and the sense of community that he and Jennie found in Snedens, making many close friends throughout the close knit community and spending as much time there as they could.

Dick could regularly be found at restaurants in Piermont, like the Freelance Cafe & Wine Bar, golfing and dining at Rockland Country Club, playing tennis at the neighborhood court, or simply visiting with the many friends that he and Jennie made over the years. When the grandkids were visiting, he made early morning trips to Tappan to get anything he thought would make the grandkids’ stay more enjoyable: pool floats, bagels, ice cream – whatever it took. In addition to delighting in the people, Dick welcomed the peace and quiet and natural beauty of Snedens Landing and could be found boating along this wide stretch of the Hudson or simply reading by its edge. At times, he could also be seen chasing off the Canadian geese, deer, and hedgehogs who enjoyed the gardens that Judy Tompkins and Hector Flores helped him grow each year as muchas he did.

Dick had a remarkable legal career, helping to guide the establishment and growth of Bloomberg L.P. and mentoring countless young lawyers in the process while also donating his unyielding optimism and prolific talents to many civic and cultural causes. In addition to serving as personal lawyer to Michael Bloomberg for many years, including during his three terms as New York City mayor, Dick was a member of Bloomberg Inc.’s Board of Directors for the better part of four decades, through 2023. Dick joined Bloomberg L.P. in 2012 and served as Chief Legal & Compliance Officer for almost a decade before transitioning to another senior role in the legal department. Prior to that, Dick was a senior partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where he also served as co-chairman, for more than two decades. He holds a B.A from the University of Virginia (1966), a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center (1970), and an L.L.M in legal taxation from NYU Law School (1972). Dick was a committed supporter of the arts and worked to ensure equitable access to quality health care in New York City and beyond. He served on the board of the SLE Lupus Foundation, which ultimately helped to form the Lupus Research Alliance, chairing the board. His leadership of the Lupus Research Alliance was personal because Jennie was diagnosed with lupus soon after the two were married, and they became deeply involved in supporting other people with lupus and investing in research to find a cure.

Dick was also involved in many other arts and educational institutions, including serving on the board and executive committee of Lincoln Center, the board of directors for Baryshnikov Arts and the board of the National Dance Institute as a former chairman and longtime board member. Due to his great affinity for his alma mater, Dick also served on the governing council of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia and the alumni council at the University of Virginia. Survivors also include a brother, Robert DeScherer (Nilufer Ozizmer), and beloved nephews. Dick had a sister, Cathy DeScherer, who predeceased him in 2023. Dick will be dearly missed by all.