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It is with great sadness that the family of Dov Chetner announces his recent passing on December 12, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, at the age of 85. He is lovingly missed by Arlein (Hoffman) his beloved wife of almost 57 years, and his four children, Cindy (Yossi Suissa), Esther, Rob (Kerri), and Judy. He will always be remembered fondly by his seven adoring grandchildren: Josh, Zoe, Danny, Noam, Elan, Max and Lola. He is also survived by his two younger brothers, Jack (Sylvia) and David (Glenda), and many dear close cousins and other relatives. Predeceased by his parents Abe and Rachel Chetner, he was a loving and devoted son.

Born August 1, 1927, in the Calgary General Hospital, Dov grew up surrounded by a tight-knit extended family and warm community. Nourished by such strong roots, he developed life-long passion that embraced a philosophical outlook, idealistic motivation, and insatiable quest for meaning in life. He had an enquiring mind, always open to dialogue. Upon graduating from Central High School, he attended both University of Alberta and University of Toronto, where he further developed his love of philosophy, debate, architecture and humanism, and deepened his personal relationship to his Jewish culture and values. In 1948-49, he volunteered in Israel to help support the development of the newly established state.

Dov’s career centered around land development, construction and property management. His ideas were visionary, creative and ahead of his time. Some of his innovative, modern designs still dot the local landscape. Over the years, he kept his mind active by continuing to learn about new things, including the world of investing. He highly valued education.

First and foremost, Dov was a family man. His sense of responsibility and joy from family time factored large in his actions and satisfactions. There was nothing Dov enjoyed more in recent years than being with his beloved grandchildren and hearing about their diverse accomplishments and shenanigans. He was so proud of them all.

Beyond his love of spending time with family, he enjoyed lectures, spirited discussions, concerts, skiing, exploring the outdoors and other travels. For many years he was an active member and President of The Knights of the Round Table, and of the Sharon Club. He wished to pass the torch of inspired discussion to younger generations. Thus, through the annual Chetner Chai Essay Contest, which he and Arlein established nine years ago, his dream is being fulfilled. He was a committed participant in the Jewish and wider Calgary communities. He was a man of integrity; he was honest and lived his life with admirable values.

Dov lived with Parkinson’s disease for close to thirty years. He demonstrated remarkable proactivity, acceptance, strength, optimism and humour in the face of an increasingly debilitating condition. His will to live, his love of life, family, and community engagement inspired him to continue. He persevered through adversity without complaining.

Dov will be missed for his amiable warmth and kindness, playfulness, profound strength and sincere desires to improve ourselves and to make the world a better place.

Our deepest appreciation and gratitude to all who helped enrich Dov’s life and make his last years more enjoyable and comfortable, especially his loving and devoted caregivers: Helen, Lorie, Jennet and Caroline. Also, huge thanks to the wonderful staff (and fellow residents) at the Chinook Care Centre, and before that, at Sarcee Care West, and during his Rockyview times — you all helped extend his life and brighten his days. Thank you, todah rabah.

Funeral services took place on December 14th at Beth Tzedec, and Dov was buried at the Erlton Street Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, Jewish Family Services, Parkinson’s Society, or any other charity of your choice.

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  1. Dear Arlein and family,

    I was very saddened to hear about Dov’s passing. I will always remember his caring for others, his courage and his piercing questions, often with no easy answer. He made an impact and he made a difference.

    My deep condolences to you and the family.

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