OTTAWA — The city of Ottawa will feel the loss of one of its most well-known and loved citizens with the death July 4 Arnon Joseph (Arnie) Vered following a 15-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.
At only 57, Vered had already contributed tremendously to the city where he and his two brothers were born to Sara and the late Ze’ev Vered, who immigrated from Israel in 1950. A graduate engineer, he joined the family business, Arnon Corporation, a real estate development company, and was also president of Ron Engineering.
At Vered’s funeral, held at Congregation Machzikei Hadas to accommodate the estimate 1,300 people who came to pay their respects, there were people from every segment of the community. Vered was highly respected in the business community and in the myriad of areas where he contributed both time and money – not only as a philanthropist, but as a hands-on “giver” of himself as well.
Some of the boards he served on included the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ashbury College board of governors, the United Way community services cabinet, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health campaign cabinet, the National Arts Centre Foundation board and the Carleton University board of governors.
He was also a co-owner of the Nepean Raiders hockey team and had served as president of Hillel Academy, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, the Ottawa Jewish Community Property Management Board and as past chair of the Soloway Jewish Community Centre.
Speaker after speaker at Vered’s funeral described his kindness, his generosity of spirit, his love of his family and his community.
“He was the full Arnie for each and every one of us,” said close friend Solly Patrontasch. “He was genuine…he gave handouts to those in need and he gave hand-ups to those he knew would succeed with some help. He was a shining light to us all.”
Stephen Greenberg, a cousin, friend and fellow volunteer on numerous boards with Vered, said the two had been meeting once or twice a month for the past 15 years to study with Machzikei Hadas’ Rabbi Reuven Bulka, and he quoted a passage from Pirkei Avot, “A rich man is happy with what he has,” to describe his friend.
Vered joined the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Champions of Local Cancer Care leadership team and shared both written and video testimonials in order to help others facing the disease.
Shortly before his death, he was presented with the foundation’s highest honour, the Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka award, in recognition of his contribution.
In February, Vered was honoured with a Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award and in April, Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley presented him with a medal for good citizenship.
Vered leaves his wife, Liz (neé Adessky), and six children: Ariel, Danya (David), Jordana, Alexandra, Michael and Tori. The family has established the Vered Family Chair at the Ottawa Hospital Foundation in order to help make Ottawa a centre of excellence for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Those wishing to contribute in Arnie Vered’s name can call 613-761-4295.