By Mark Garzon
A Sunnyside street has been renamed in honor of Lily Gavin, a longtime community figure and business owner.
Dozens of community leaders, friends and family members gathered for the unveiling ceremony of “Lilian ‘Lily’ Gavin Place” at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard on Saturday. Gavin, who passed away last July at the age of 85, was the longtime owner of Dazies restaurant on Queens Boulevard, as well as a civic leader in the community.
“Lily was always there for Sunnyside, Woodside and Queens,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
Throughout her life, Gavin supported various local organizations, including the Sunnyside Drum Corporation, Boys & Girls Club, Long Island City YMCA, Sunnyside Senior Center and the Queens Council on Tourism. In addition, she was one of the first women to join the Sunnyside Kiwanis Club. She served as the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and sat on the board of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID).
“There is virtually nothing in Queens that she did not make better because she was a part of it,” Van Bramer said.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan said Gavin set an example for people as a female business owner and single mother who raised five children. “That’s enough right there for most of us,” Nolan said, “but she was involved in her community with love, generosity and kindness.”
Gavin was also remembered for her ability to bring people together at the tables of her restaurant. “When you walked through that door, Lily made you feel like you were a part of the family,” said former Community Board 2 chair Joe Conley. “That’s the way I felt my entire life with Lily.”
Kenny Gavin, Gavin’s son, recalled that his mother loved giving back to the community and making people happy. “She was a mom to all of us,” he said. “She drove people to do things.”