With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Ben Arkes on July 18, seven months shy of his 100th birthday. He was born on the twenty-second day of the second month of 1922 in Chicago to Pincus and Hinda Arkes, both refugees from Ukraine. He and his beloved wife, Maxine, were married for over 75 years. Ben is survived by his two sons, Hal and Michael; his grandson Daniel; his daughter-in-laws, Sylvia and Helen; several nieces and nephews, and many cherished friends. Ben was lovingly cared for by Honey, Percy, and Sandy.
Ben grew up in Chicago and attended Crane Tech, where he starred on the city championship basketball team. He subsequently served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as an aerial photographer. Following the war, he was employed as a representative for several photography and then audiovisual-related companies until he and his brother Nate eventually founded Hinda, a premium-incentive company. He was a guiding presence at Hinda for over 40 years.
Ben was an exceptional athlete. He continued to play basketball and baseball into his 30s until he became an avid golfer. He coached innumerable boys' baseball teams on Chicago's South Side and enthusiastically supported various children's camps and summer activities.
In the latter half of his life Ben's attention became focused on charity. Possibly due to his extremely humble childhood environment, Ben strived to help those in need. He supported hospital facilities in Chicago and Palm Springs, California. He contributed significantly to many other charities in the Chicago area and elsewhere, particularly organizations that served the Jewish community. His legacy will be the help and compassion he showed throughout his life for those less fortunate than himself.
Service Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 N. Broadway, Chicago. Please enter at the Pine Grove Avenue entrance. Mask wearing will be required by all. Interment private. There will be reception at Anshe Emet following the service. The service will be livestreamed at www.goldmanfuneralgroup.com
. Under Recent Services, click onto Ben's photograph and scroll down to Services Details to view his service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Jewish United Fund, 30 S. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60606, www.juf.org
, CJE SeniorLife, 3003 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago, IL 60645, www.cje.net
or Good Shepherd Center, 17314 S. Kedzie Ave., Hazel Crest, IL 60429, www.gscenter.org
. For condolences information: The Goldman Funeral Group (847) 478-1600.
Published by Chicago Tribune on Jul. 20, 2021.