By Ron Hayes
DELRAY BEACH — In the days before his death, a nurse at Bethesda Memorial Hospital called Irving Sloane’s wife aside.
“I think his mind is wandering,” the well-meaning nurse told Pearl Sloane. “He told us he ran the New York marathon when he was 66 and learned to water-ski at 72.”
But the patient’s mind was not wandering. In his 91 years, Mr. Sloane did all that and a good deal more. A resident of Seagate Towers, he died Dec. 20 and was buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, N.Y. He had been a winter resident since the mid-1990s, before moving here permanently in 2003.
Born in Lower Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Sloane was for 35 years the co-owner of Ev-Ready Advertising, a silk-screening company that provided posters for the U.S. Army and Navy.
He was a founder of Temple Sholom, a Conservative congregation that began with meetings in his basement and still thrives in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn.
In 1941, Mr. Sloane was riding in a car through Macon, Ga. His elbow was resting in the window when a passing car clipped it, requiring extensive surgery.
The accident kept Mr. Sloane from serving in the military, as he’d hoped, but not from leading a full life. “Years later, he was in a bank hold-up on Fifth Avenue,” his widow recalled, “and the thief put a gun to his neck. He had to tell the robbers that he couldn’t put him arm above his head.”
Otherwise, Mr. Sloane refused to be limited by his limitations.
He was an avid golfer and tennis player, once worked as an amateur magician at Macy’s department store and was known as “Fix-it Sloane” at his Somers, N.Y., condominium for his eagerness to help neighbors with small repair jobs.
“He had a long, happy life,” Pearl Sloane said. “We never had an argument because neither one of us was so set on a thing that it had to be a certain way. If something didn’t work out, it would be better tomorrow. I had a 30-year honeymoon.”
In addition to his widow, Mr. Sloane is survived by two sons, Robert of Boca Raton, and Larry of Dix Hills, N.Y., and six grandchildren.