Businessman, activist had life lived in full
Longtime Utah businessman and community activist Marvin L. Arent, who died last week at the age of 95, loved to talk about life, and about the love of his life.
Arent and wife Lynn founded Arent's Doorway to Fashion, a women's clothing and fur store that operated for decades on South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City.
Marvin Arent was a member of the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City for 47 years, where he served as treasurer. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow and a Richard L. Evans Fellow in recognition of his efforts to support the Rotary's charitable and humanitarian endeavors, including the fight to eliminate polio from the world.
People who knew Arent describe him as a friendly, outgoing person who always was willing to lend a hand to anyone in need.
"I first made his acquaintance in 1988, when I joined Rotary," said Utah businessman Marv Marcus. "He was a casual acquaintance until a couple of years ago. At that time he was getting a little frail and I had the opportunity to begin driving him to Rotary meetings. He was a truly nice person, and we became good friends."
Marcus said that during their drives they often would talk about Arent's experiences, his background in the motion picture business and his service in World War II.
Arent was working in the film industry when the United States entered World War II. He became an infantry captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted while serving as leader of a unit of tank destroyers in Italy.
He married Lynn Cohne on March 26, 1950, and they were together for 54 years, until her death in 2004. "When he would speak about her you could tell he was still devoted to her and still loved her deeply," Marcus said.
Arent served on the board of directors of the United Jewish Federation until last summer and was a member of Congregation Kol Ami.
A commemoration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Mountainview Room at Congregation Kol Ami, 2425 Heritage Way, Salt Lake City. He will be buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
He is survived by daughters Patrice Arent (David Mock) of Salt Lake City and Shereen Arent (Brian Wolfman) of Takoma Park, Md,; grandchildren Sarah Mulhern (William Friedman), Joshua Lipman, Avi and Hannah Wolfman-Arent; and sister-in-law Colleen Cohne.
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