Ira Stuart Breines, 88, of Pepper Pike, and Clinton Township, N.J., passed away Sept. 22, 2021. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 4, 1933, the son of Harry and Rose Perelman Breines. He was predeceased by Estelle (nee Borgman), his beloved wife of 63 years.
Ira is survived by his children. Dr. Roxanne Breines Sukol (Rabbi Edward) of Pepper Pike, Eric Breines of Jacksonville, Fla., and Cantor Jacqueline Breines of Newton, Mass.; by his daughter-in-law, Deborah Breines of Hartford, Conn.; by his devoted grandchildren, Talia (Andrew) Sukol Karas, Alexsandra Breines, David Breines, Eli (Holly) Sukol, Micah (Channah) Sapir, Shea Danino, Michael Sanford Danino, Benjamin Breines, and David Danino; by his great-granddaughter, Estelle Norah Karas; and by his sister, Lenore Breslaw of Boca Raton, Fla.
He graduated from high school with a concentration in handball, majored in pinochle at City College of New York, and held honorary doctorates in softball and cribbage, which he and Estelle taught their grandchildren to play so they could attend tournaments together. He played his final game, with his youngest grandchild, just hours before his passing.
The original hipsters, Ira and Estelle lived for 44 years on a small farm in West Central New Jersey along with a menagerie of sheep, steer, chickens, French guinea hens, peacocks, geese, cats and generations of Belgian Sheepdogs. Ira was a past president of the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, and a member for almost 60 years.
Ira was an honorary member of the Italian-American Club of Hunterdon County, and served for decades as a member of the Hunterdon County Board of Adjusters. He was a veteran of the armed forces. He spent his career as a lithographer and general manager at Chroma Packaging designing and printing cosmetics packaging, and then at Revlon as an expert in the procurement of corrugated cardboard. He spent the early years of his retirement driving for a luxury limousine service and keeping the ashtrays filled with candy.
The guiding principle of Ira’s life was food: growing, raising, cooking, sharing and eating it. Meals at Ira and Estelle’s were abundant and legendary, their table a haven of generosity. When guests dropped in unexpectedly, as they did all the time, he and Estelle simply leaned forward, pulled out a leaf from the table, and invited guests to “Pull up a chair!” Later in life, Ira shared that if he had it all to do over again, he would have become a chef.
In their home, Ira and Estelle embodied the imperative to let all who are hungry come and eat, so it is only fitting that friends be invited to contribute in Ira’s memory to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, 15500 S. Waterloo Road, Cleveland, OH, 44110.
His generosity was felt far and wide, and he will be missed by so very many.
Private family services will be held Sept. 24 at Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel. Interment at Mount Olive Cemetery.
Family and friends who wish to view the service, please go to bkbmc.com at 10 a.m. Sept. 24, scroll down to obituaries, select obituary of Ira S. Breines, click on his obituary, scroll down to join live stream, click on join live stream.
Family will receive friends from 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 24 and starting at 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Breines residence, 30949 Summit Lane in Pepper Pike. Masks and vaccinations are required.