Family, friends mourn death of Halstead agent Susan Dougherty

By Candace Taylor | August 06, 2010 08:30AM

Susan Dougherty

The real estate community is mourning the loss of longtime Halstead Property agent Susan Dougherty, who died Wednesday at the age of 49. The cause of death was leukemia, her husband said.

A Halstead agent for some 15 years, Dougherty was a senior vice president and the wife of Michael Goldenberg, the firm’s executive director of sales for the West Side.

“It’s such a devastating loss, on two levels,” said Diane Ramirez, the president of Halstead Property. “She was a member of our family as an agent for such a long time. Michael, who is having to handle this devastating loss, is also a member of the family. We’re grieving on two counts.”

Dougherty grew up in Ozone Park, Queens, Goldenberg said. Before joining Halstead, she was an agent at the Corcoran Group, and previous to that, she headed up her own firm in the East Village. Her husband noted that she had access to all of reclusive landlord William Gottlieb’s properties.

“She was the only real estate broker who Bill Gottlieb trusted to have a key to all his buildings,” said Goldenberg, who joined Halstead in 1985.

Goldenberg hired Dougherty in 1996, when he was head of Halstead’s Soho office. The two were married in April of 2002.
“We started as friends and it grew,” recalled Goldenberg, who said it was her electric smile that first drew him to her.

When it came to real estate, clients noticed Dougherty’s empathy, Goldenberg said. A dog lover, she was skilled in finding pet-friendly buildings.

“She realized that she was dealing with people’s lives,” Goldenberg said. “She used to refer to a person’s home as a ‘safe haven.'”

Dougherty won various company awards and honors, Ramirez said, and in 1996, she won third place in REBNY’s Deal of the Year competition.

Ramirez noted that in all her years in the business, Dougherty had only one co-op board turndown.

In her personal life, Daugherty took pride in meticulously decorating the couple’s homes on 14th Street and in the Hamptons, Goldenberg said. She loved gardening and cooking with an enthusiasm that never waned, even after she was diagnosed with leukemia in September.

For example, the couple had trouble finding the right-sized screen door for the terrace of their Village apartment, which Dougherty lovingly covered with plants each spring. About two months ago, Goldenberg said, the two went to the hardware store — despite the advanced state of her illness — and purchased a fabric screen, which she rigged up with Velcro so it would stay in place.

Calling hours for Dougherty will be this evening at Greenwich Village Funeral Home at 199 Bleecker Street from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be 9:30 Saturday morning at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 371 Sixth Avenue.