Soon-to-be centenarian and WAC member Sylvester “Sy” Iffert will celebrate his 100th birthday on September 26. A Club member since 1956, Sy joined the WAC after serving in the Army in North Africa during World War II.
Before enlisting, Sy spent his childhood on a southern Minnesota farm. He was one of 14 siblings, including a twin brother, with whom he milked 21 cows every day.
After sustaining a back injury in combat, Sy was sent to Walter Reed hospital in Maryland before moving back to the family farm. He made a full recovery and moved to Seattle to begin working as a captain for United Airlines. He eventually met and married his wife of 48 years, Karen Carlson Iffert (née Casey). Together, the couple raised two daughters, Teresa and Jena.
Sy recounts fond memories of learning to swim at the WAC pool in order to qualify for over-water flights. He worked as a United Airlines pilot for 41 years and retired at the mandated age of 60.
He also served on The Museum of Flight Foundation for many years and supported local politics by throwing parties and Young Republicans meetings. “I say that no matter what happens, today is a new day and yesterday is an old day,” Sy says. “I don’t worry about what’s in the past—that’s how I’ve gotten this far.”
As published in the September/October 2019 issue of WAC Magazine
—Posted August 26, 2019