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1932 Emmanuel Ornan 2023

Emmanuel Ornan

October 15, 1932 — October 28, 2023


Emmanuel “Emmy” Ornan, 91, passed away at his Lynchburg home in the presence of his loving wife of 52 years, son and daughter. Born in Haifa, he served in the intelligence branch of the Israeli army, later graduating with a degree in electrical engineering from the Technion. In 1962, he moved to Paris to study French literature at the Sorbonne and to pursue a master’s program in nuclear electrical engineering at Université Paris - Saclay. To make ends meet as a graduate student, he landed a chauffeur position at the Israeli embassy, which allowed him to mingle with world leaders while memorizing the city's shortcuts. Moving to Canada in 1967, he was hired as an electrician for the Montreal World’s Fair. In 1970, he met a vivacious Danish redhead named Sonja who worked one floor down at the Atomic Energy of Canada. They married in Toronto on his 41st birthday. Sonja and Emmy made their way to Lynchburg for his new position at Babcock & Wilcox in 1973. He would later work as a consulting engineer. In the 90s, Emmy struck out on his own as a self-taught independent stock trader, a bold career move that kept him infinitely entertained, stimulated and challenged until the day he died. 

A consummate intellectual, pillar of his local Jewish community and fluent in three languages, Emmy was also known for his charm, wit, candor, curiosity, authenticity, sense of humor and an uncanny ability to connect deeply with others. Over the last few months, he enjoyed sunny outdoor strolls, kisses from grand-dog Georgie, conversations and visits from friends, beloved children, grandchildren, and favorite neighborhood munchkins. Sonja, constantly at his side, provided unwavering support, care and overflowing love.

He is survived by wife Sonja (Lynchburg), daughter Rachelle (Seattle); son David and grandchildren Zaina and Cy (Charlottesville); younger brother Israel "Cy" Tal (Detroit), niece Donna Tal (Ann Arbor); and nephews Gil and Tal Ornan (Israel). He was preceded in death by his older brother Micha Ornan (Israel).

In Emmy’s honor, the family asks for contributions to the World Jewish Congress PO Box 2003 Merrifield, VA 22116 (212-894-4770) and to Camp Kum Bah Yah 4415 Boonesboro Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 (434-439-2004).

The family sends special thanks to Emmy’s Centra Health hospital and hospice angels. 


Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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