Beloved Pinehurst Building Owner Sy Iffert Died at 100

IN MEMORIAM – This past Friday, May 22, Sylvester “Sy” Iffert, was laid to rest. He celebrated his 100th birthday last September. Sy was known by many in the Pinehurst neighborhood, on which he left a lasting legacy.

Read on to learn the remarkable story of this amazing man who will be dearly missed by many. He leaves behind his wife of 48 years, two daughters and a granddaughter, who he dearly loved.

Sy owned and managed several commercial properties in Pinehurst, including The Pinehurst Building (where Century 21, Northgate Rare Coins, and other businesses are located), Northgate Pointe (my office at Roosevelt Law Center and other professional offices), Northgate Landing (Bark Espresso and Great Dog), Atrium Square (Zylberschtein’s), and many others. All of Sy’s tenants have described him as a humble, kind, man – a caring and generous landlord who took a genuine interest in our businesses.

Local longtime neighborhood attorney, Mike Bugni, wrote the following tribute:

At age 24, Sy was wounded during combat in North Africa in 1943 (a landmine exploded) and left for dead on the side of the road. He heard a jeep drive by and someone in authority tell the driver to “throw him in the back.” Sy later found out that the man who saved his life was General George Patton. Eventually they transferred Sy from the field hospital to a hospital ship. As the ship was sailing toward the Rock of Gibralter it was hit by a torpedo and sunk.

The ship was on fire, so all they could do for Sy was to lift him into a makeshift harness and ease him overboard (with a broken back) to a lifeboat. The harness broke and he banged into the side of the ship, then plunged into the sea. He couldn’t swim. Sy took what he thought was his final breath when he realized he’d been dropped onto a massive oil slick (part of which was on fire) which was keeping him on top. He just floated there, hoping a life boat would find him (and they did) before the flames.

After the war, Sy got a job fueling aircraft at Boeing field. Someone thought he ought to learn how to fly the planes instead, so in the end Sy became a long-haul pilot for United Airlines (747). He flew all the Asian routes until they forced him to stop at 60. So he got into property management, rather than retire. That’s when I met him, in 1981 (Sy was 61 and I was 23). He told me once that as he was gasping for air in a sea of flames, he swore to himself, “If the Germans don’t kill me then I’m going to live to be 100.” Think about that when you see the flag on our building. 🇺🇲

If you’d like to read messages being left about him, or post a message yourself in memoriam, go to:

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