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In Loving Memory

Irwin “Cookie” Solomon, May 31, 1924 – June 28, 2024

Cookie lived a long and rich life, always glass half full. He left us peacefully at home surrounded by his beloved family. His loving wife of 75 years, Beverly, Cherished Daughter Helene and Son-In Law Bill Stein, Adored Son Jonny and Daughter in Law Deborah Carlisle Solomon, and his only grandchild, Elijah Solomon.

He and Beverly relished life in New York City, raising their children on West End Avenue, where he was lucky enough to live out his entire life through age 100. If they travelled at all it was to New Jersey to Montammy Country Club, and to visit their children in Boston and Los Angeles.

His long life began in Brooklyn as the only child of Mollie and Morris J. “Moish” Solomon, active and generous community members in Brooklyn dedicated to philanthropy and community service as leaders of the Elite Club. He adored his parents, especially Mollie who he visited frequently in Florida after Moish passed away – (a great opportunity for winter golf too). And, in younger years, he spent time with an extraordinary number of cousins, as Mollie was one of 11 siblings.

He attended Lincoln High School and Albright College before being drafted into the U.S. Navy on June 24, 1943. He proudly served in World War II on the destroyer, USS Boirie, in the Pacific Theater when on August 8, 1945 – exactly one week before the war ended on August 15, 1945, his ship was struck by kamikazes. He kept a shipboard diary detailing those harrowing days and nights when they were repeatedly being hit by kamikazes. As he helped to bury his shipmates at sea, he recited the 23rd Psalm 35 times, and would forever know how important it is to live every day as if it is your last. And that is exactly what he did right up to the very end on Friday.

Cookie, the morning mayor of the Upper West Side, loved his family and friends deeply. He was a people person and a natural salesman. Whether selling yarn and textiles or the latest gadget – beginning with mobile phones when they were mounted on sticks in cars – he just loved talking to everyone with enthusiasm and interest. He worked for many years for Arjay Wireless Group, selling mobile phones all over NYC – back when salesmen still called on customers individually to explain the phones and provide personal service. His favorite longtime customer was Lauren Bacall who would shout “Cookie, the door is open come on in” from her residence at The Dakota, when he was helping her learn how to use her phone.

His passions were well known – if you didn’t notice them – he would tell you how great the NY Giants were, that the Mets would win the pennant and maybe someday he would make a hole in one.

He loved all the classic New York foods but none more than a porterhouse, tomatoes and onions and a hot fudge sundae at Peter Luger’s where he went as a child with his parents and celebrated many birthdays into his 90’s.

A lifelong Democrat, he always voted, and especially liked voting for Hillary Clinton for President.

His spirit will live on in all our hearts and we are all blessed to have known him and his joyful presence. As his incredible caregivers a/k/a TEAMCOOKIE – Kenni, Mathilde, Violet, and Agartha know all too well.

On behalf of our mom Beverly, we hope you too remember him with a smile, and for the fighter he was up until the end. Even if he couldn’t say much with words, in recent years, he was in there til the end of a long and loving life!

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Irwin’s memory may be made to A Song For You, Inc., https://hereisasongforyou.org; NCJW NYC HELEN BLOOM LINC PROGRAM, https://www.ncjwny.org/donate/; and Lighthouse for the Blind, https://lighthouseguild.org/donate/.