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Irwin ‘Red’ Lachman dies at 87

Irwin “Red” Lachman, local real estate developer, civil and aeronautical engineer, artist and writer, died Nov. 15 at 87.

An early supporter of Valley Cities Jewish Community Center, Lachman helped identify the property for the center’s original site on Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys. He was also among the founding members of and instrumental in securing the property for two area synagogues, Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades and the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue.

A test co-pilot during World War II despite his fear of heights, Lachman was born in Chicago on Nov. 28, 1921 to Bess Weitzenfeld and Abraham, a tailor and veteran of World War I.

“Be good to one another,” Bess told her only child shortly before she died when he was a student at Armour School of Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology. Lachman remained true to his mother’s wishes as well as to the immigrant aspirations of his Uncle Joe, who helped raise him after Abraham died unexpectedly shortly after Lachman was born.

Lachman’s generosity and enthusiasm for life will forever enrich and provide sustenance to his family and to the friends that he cherished so much.

In addition to his wife of 67 years, Shirley, he is survived by four children: Brad, Andrew, Marni and Cliff; and seven grandchildren. The family suggests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Lachman’s commitment to his daughter-in-law, Dolores, whom he strived to pay tribute to with the establishment of a day program for those suffering from early onset dementia.

Read Lachman’s essay, “Life at 85: What a Trip,” published in The Journal in 2006.

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