Arnold Abraham Heft


On March 12, Arnold Abraham Heft of Bethesda, passed away in his sleep. He was born on May 29, 1919, in Baltimore, to the late Harry and Rose (Taransky) Heft. They moved to Washington, D.C., when he was about 6 or 7 years old. Arnold was a baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles in the early 1940s, before they were a major league team. After hurting his pitching arm, he became a basketball referee for the National Basketball Association for 16 years; an apartment builder in the D.C. area; one-time owner of the Baltimore Bullets basketball team; and the Washington Capitals hockey team. He was one of the original inductees into the Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, located at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington. For more than the past two decades, he and his wife were successful in the Maryland horse racing industry.

Arnold was the husband of 73 years to the love of his life, Sylvia E. (Abramson) Heft of Bethesda, where she still resides. He was the beloved father to Gwen (Carl) Oppenheim, of Bethesda; Harriet (Marty) Feldman of Rockville; and Barbara Heft of Bethesda. He was also the beloved brother to Frances (David) Eisenberg of Dallas; and Herbert (Shirley) Heft. He was a cherished grandfather to Adam (Nancy) Oppenheim; Eric (Ronni) Oppenheim; Peter (Katie) Oppenheim; Sheila (David) Berlinger; David (Jessica) Feldman; Gregory Auerbach; Evan Auerbach; Meredith Auerbach; and nine great-grandchildren. Graveside services were held at the Garden of Remembrance in Clarksburg. Memorial contributions may be made to the Arnold and Sylvia Heft Endowment Fund at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville. — Contributed by Harriet (Heft) Feldman

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