Ruben Kemény, born in Stockholm on August 5, 1944, has peacefully fallen asleep in Bratislava, Slovakia, on November 26 at the age of 78. Next of kin are wife Katarina and three nieces and nephews.
Ruben Kemény was significant person who helped to establish Swedish Chamber of Commerce in SK and CR (now known as Nordic Chamber of Commerce in CR) in 1995.
Ruben's connection to Sweden came from the fact that his father Lajos had fled Bratislava in 1938 for Sweden and met his future wife Anna-Lisa there. After the end of the war in 1945, the family moved back to what was then Czechoslovakia. Ruben was the middle child in a group of three siblings, older brother Alexander trained as a classically trained musician and younger sister Ingrid as a psychiatrist. Ruben graduated in engineering in 1970 at the Bratislava University of Technology. In 1978 he married the artist Katarina.
The bilingualism in Slovak and Swedish and the family ties to Sweden came to characterize Ruben's professional life. Already during his studies, he started a company that organizes ski trips for Swedes in the Slovak Tatra Mountains. In 1974, Ruben started at what was then the Export Council, now Business Sweden, a workplace he was faithful to until retirement. In 1991, Ruben was appointed Country Manager of the Bratislava office, a position he held until 2008.
For more than three decades, Ruben worked for the Export Council in Slovakia promoting trade relations between the countries. It was a turbulent time, not least the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993 had a major impact on both work and private life.
In addition to his regular work, Ruben was also Sweden's honorary consul in Slovakia for many years. For his efforts for Sweden, Ruben was named Knight of the Royal Order of the North Star in 2002 and Commander of the Royal Order of the North Star in 2008. Ruben's efforts for Swedish companies and Swedish interests in Slovakia cannot be overestimated.
We remember Ruben with great warmth and respect, his great generosity with his time and knowledge and his concern for the family. With particular joy, we think back to his great interest in football and an ever-present low-key sense of humour.
- Jack Gustafsson, Stefan Lersten, Örian Odenbro, Peter Svensson Kemeny -