Irma Sue Hafetz (née Neff), 84, passed away on April 10th, 2019, surrounded by children and grandchildren. She was a lifelong center of gravity for the life of her family and friends. Proud daughter of Camden, NJ, she loved her adopted hometown of Atlantic City, strolling the boardwalk since childhood, co-owning the Walton Hotel on Tennessee Avenue, and as a realtor for Century 21. She met her future husband, Aaron Hafetz, at a wedding in one of the old grand hotels. It was a love affair that lasted until his death in 2016 and beyond. Raising four boisterous sons, she ran a tight ship in the house she designed on Bay Shore Drive, overseeing everything from school wardrobe to elaborate Shabbos dinners. She dedicated herself to her husband and found purpose in making the kosher Jewish home in which they both found great comfort. She showed up for life and tried to make it beautiful. Taking special pleasure in setting a beautiful table and wearing stylish outfits, Irma rarely missed her weekly visits to the beauty parlor. For decades she not only hosted the high holiday observances, she was also the life of the parties. Everyone was welcome to come if not necessarily leave. In fact, she was famous for her long good-byes that could take an hour. No one escaped without a kiss or instructions to dress better, shave a beard, or buy a different brand of coffee. She was the first call for her friends and family when there were troubles to work through, joys to celebrate, and decisions to make. They relied on her for her unflagging optimism, common sense, and the way she always stood up for those in need. Her affection extended to the bigger world. There was never a stranger she didn’t enjoy meeting or a conversation she wouldn’t start. She was able to experience everything that mattered to her in life—a loving husband, devoted sons, a daughter-in-law who cared for her like a mother, connection in her community, and a wide-spread family that brought her great joy. Her relationships with her grandchildren were special not only to her but to all four of whom she guided and delighted with her humor, her straight talk, and her limitless love. Three generations remember how she would sing to them, “You Are My Sunshine/My Only Sunshine.” She was the sunshine that lit everyone’s way. Irma’s legacy includes son Scott and her daughter-in-law Kathy Hafetz, who she loved as her own daughter, of Linwood; Drew Hafetz of Tampa, FL; Larry Hafetz and son-in-law Eric Gutierrez of Los Angeles, CA; and Glenn Hafetz of Ventnor; as well as grandchildren Jordon, Brianna, Madison, and Brandon, who were her greatest delight in her final years. She also enjoyed a deep bond with her twin sister Jeannie and brother-in-law Burt Bennett of Tampa, FL; as well as with her nieces and nephews; and lifelong friendships with extended family. She is pre-deceased by her sister Bernice “Chickie” Alper Neff. Nothing brought her as much joy as being surrounded by loved ones and that is how she left this world. Synagogue services will be held 1pm, Sunday, April 14, at Congregation Beth Israel, 2501 Shore Road in Northfield. Interment to follow at Beth Kehillah Cemetery, Egg Harbor Twp. In lieu of flowers, donations to Congregation Beth Israel of Northfield, or the charity of the donor's choice are appreciated and will help carry on Irma’s commitment to Jewish life and culture. May her memory be a blessing.
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