By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Dedicated member of the community for more than 35 years Arnie Wishnick died Saturday morning, April 27.
Arnie was known throughout town for his dedication to all things Palisades—from his work with the Chamber of Commerce, Palisades Americanism Parade Association, Optimist Club of Pacific Palisades, and many, many other clubs and organizations.
He was married to community activist Cathie Wishnick for 40 years who died at the age of 60 in 2007.
“A very sad day for Pacific Palisades,” Karen Farberow, daughter of Mort and Bobbie, shared. “He is a true historian of our town. What a great man, and I am glad he was a part of my life. My folks and him were great friends. Now Mort and Arnie can continue their jokes together again.”
His career included serving as vice president of two former Pacific Palisades savings and loan associations: Southern California Savings and Gibraltar Savings.
Arnie was executive director of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce from 1993 to 2018. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly after retiring from his Chamber job in September 2018.
“[Arnie] will always be remembered for all of the incredible things that he did, all of the people he helped and the tremendous leadership he provided not just for the Chamber, but the entire town,” the Chamber of Commerce shared after Arnie’s passing. “This world has lost a legend.”
Arnie also served for more than 30 years on the Pacific Palisades Teen Contest Committee and the Village Green Committee.
He was most recently honored with the Rotary Business Person of the Year Award from the Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades, the Pride of the Palisades Award from the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Mort Farberow Award.
For more than a decade, Arnie was the Palisades movie critic and wrote reviews that were published in the Post.
“Nobody loved Pacific Palisades more, and served it better, than Arnie,” said Rob Weber, a longtime community member and former president of PAPA. “He was a real mensch in every sense of the word—in 20 years, I never heard him utter an unkind word about anyone, and he was always willing to lend a hand to any project. The town is poorer without his conscience of the community.”
Arnie is survived by his wife, Jackie Maduff. A celebration of life was held at Kehillat Israel on Wednesday, May 1, at 11 a.m.
“He was an icon and was known by all ages of people,” Farberow said. “He could relate to all Palisadians and always had the best interest for the Palisades in all his decisions. He was a love and gave that love to all he came across.”