Hyman “PopPop” Gelman, of Naples Florida, passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2020, at the age of 95. After enduring nearly seven months of social isolation and restrictions on visitation due to COVID-19, he died peacefully in his sleep in his residence at Barrington Terrace of Naples. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Lila.
Hyman was born on January 2, 1925, in the Manhattan borough of New York City to the late Isidore and Minnie Gelman. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1943. Three months after graduation, he joined the U.S. Army.
Hyman was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi where he was posted with the 329th “Buckshot” Infantry Regiment. On April 6, 1944, he sailed to England aboard RMS Samaria. When he arrived in England, he was transferred to the 83rd Infantry Division as a machine gunner. Hyman was subsequently wounded in the town of Birgel, Germany, and was transported back to England where he spent three months in a military hospital. Hyman was awarded the Purple Heart twice for injuries sustained in service to his country during World War II.
Upon his return to the United States, Hyman worked as a furrier with his father. He met Lila, the love of his life, and the two married in 1950. Hyman and Lila moved to Baltimore, Maryland where they raised their children.
Hyman spent his last years in Naples, Florida, where he enjoyed part-time work and the great weather. In 2015, he and Lila moved into Barrington Terrace of Naples. He stayed there after Lila’s passing in 2016 where he enjoyed a busy social calendar of games and frequent outings.
Hyman’s life was well-lived and he was well-loved! He is survived by his daughter Janice (Tarik) and son Mark (Laura), grandchildren Jerol, Suzi (Gary), Jonathan (Anjelica), and Nikki (Ernesto Soto), and great-grandchildren Olivia, Colin, David, Danika, John, Cassie, and Khaleesi.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.