Ira Wexler, man of many talents

April 7, 2021

Ira Wexler, 84, passed peacefully in his sleep from pancreatic cancer a year ago, April 1, 2020. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. Ira’s wry wit and profound intellect were legendary. His family also loved him for his generosity and his modesty.

Although he never introduced himself as “Dr. Wexler,” Ira was a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, where he obtained his MD and his PhD in physiology. He published on renal blood flow, conducted research at Yale University and at the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden. He spent the bulk of his career in private practice, in neurology.

Ira was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Russian and Polish immigrants. His mother, Paula Klida, was a well-known actress in the Yiddish theater, and Ira stood in the wings during performances and whispered her lines as needed.

Ira met his wife, Karen, on a blind date in New York City, and the two never parted. They chose to raise their three children in the newly formed, liberal town of Columbia, Md.

At Seaside Jewish Community in Rehoboth, Ira led the adult education committee for years and gave many lectures. At their second home in Durham, N.C., Ira and Karen were regular fixtures at lectures at Duke University.

During his retirement, Ira conducted research into sleep disorders, built robots, taught for years at the Academy of Lifelong Learning, and was an active participant in the Lewes Library’s topical seminars.

He enjoyed sailing all his life, whether on the Hudson, the Chesapeake or the Delaware Bay. But his first love was always his family.

We miss his humor every day.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Kathryn Wolf, Allison Weiss and Nikolas Wexler; and seven grandchildren.


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