Sol Lipper never stopped fighting. From the time he served in the 101st Cavalry Regiment in Europe during World War II to his private battles with cancer, he always found a way to persevere, his family said.
"He was an inspiration to people that you could overcome anything and adapt to any problems in your life," said a son, Robert Lipper, of East Meadow.
Following complications from abdominal surgery, Sol Lipper died on May 11 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. He was 95.
Born in East Harlem in 1917, Lipper grew up in Brooklyn with his parents, older brother Hal and younger sister Elsie.
As a child, Lipper was adventurous. He loved to sneak out to Gravesend Bay with his brother in their homemade canoe, said another son, Gil Lipper, of Roslyn Heights.
Sol Lipper, a member of the New York National Guard, served in the 101st Cavalry during the war. The unit is credited with making a bold advance through German lines, capturing thousands of prisoners in spring 1945.
During his last year of service, Lipper married Judith, his wife of 62 years. The family moved from Brooklyn to Wantagh in 1956.
Lipper worked as a furrier for about 15 years before leaving the business to start an imported housewares company with his brother.
Lipper, who retired in the 1990s, was diagnosed with throat cancer while in his 70s. Though it was difficult news for the family, Lipper did what he could to live a normal life, Gil Lipper recalled.
"He had his larynx removed and had to learn esophageal speech, which is difficult and takes a lot of practice. He mastered it and began to coach others at the [Long Island Jewish] Center for Speech and Hearing, so they could learn it also," Gil Lipper said.
Sol Lipper also volunteered with the American Cancer Society, talking to students and other groups about the health risks associated with smoking. He was later treated for prostate cancer and a pair of cancerous lesions in his lungs.
Besides his sons, survivors include his sister Elsie Lighton, 89, of Rockville Centre; and two granddaughters. He was predeceased by his wife and brother.
A funeral service was held May 13 at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon.