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Deals & Dealmakers

Gumley Haft co-founder, Irwin Gumley, dead


Irwin Gumley, prominent and award-winning New York real estate leader, died on Wednesday, January 27 at his residence in Hilton Head, SC. He was 88.

Born October 14, 1927 in New York City, Gumley attended the Bronx School of Science and graduated from George Washington High School in 1944.  He attended the University of Virginia from 1944-1947.

After a brief stint in the Coast Guard, he married Anne Lee Rittenberg of Scarsdale, NY in November 1949.  They lived in the Murray Hill area of Manhattan and moved to Scarsdale, NY, in 1954, where they raised their two daughters.

Mr. Gumley began his career in real estate as a broker with Brill Realty Company of New York, where he worked from 1954- 1971.  From 1971-1974 he was Vice President for Realty Equities Corporation of New York. He then went on to become Executive Vice President, Corporation Director at Douglas Elliman-Gibbons & Ives from 1974-1989. In 1974 he was awarded New York Real Estate “Management Man of the Year” and in 1985 the members of the Metropolitan Real Estate Square Club presented him the award of “Man of The Year.”

In 1990, he and Sandy Abelson, owner of the real estate operating company J.G. Haft, formed Gumley Haft which became one of New York City’s top Real Estate Management and Brokerage firms. He was President of Gumley Haft until his retirement in 1995.

During his 41 year career in New York City real estate, he was on the  Real Estate Board of New York, Residential Vice President of the Realty Advisory Board Labor Relations of New York and member of the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York City.

He served on the advisory board of the New York University Real Estate Institute where he was also a guest lecturer. He was also a Trustee of Henry Street Settlement in New York City until the time of his retirement.

Mr. Gumley was very involved in his community. He served on the Town of Greenburgh Zoning Board of Appeals from 1965-1986 and was vice-chairman from 1974-1986, He was an executive member of the Greenburgh Republican Town Committee from 1969-1973.

In his spare time he was an avid skier, golfer and tennis player. He headed the ski club at Edgemont High School, Scarsdale, NY, and ran all their ski trips in the early 70’s. He was also a member of Elmwood Country Club.

In 1995 he retired from Gumley Haft and moved to Hilton Head with his wife Anne Lee. They split their time between Hilton Head Island, SC and Nantucket Island, MA.

He is predeceased by his parents Herbert and Betty Gumley, brother, Theodore Gumley, his wife Anne Lee Gumley and his daughter Nancy Anne Comer.

He is survived by his brother Leonard Gumley of Sarasota, FL; daughter, Jane Gumley Janiak and son-in-law, Peter Janiak, of Hilton Head and grandsons Matthew Comer of Odenton, MD, Christopher and Steven Janiak of Charleston, SC and Brian (Rachel) Janiak of Boston, MA.

A memorial service will be held in the spring on Hilton Head.

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