In Memory

Gary Cohen

Gary Cohen

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01/02/19 08:10 PM #1    

Sandi Sable (Forstenzer)

So so sorry to hear this news. Rest In Peace Gary. 

01/02/19 09:27 PM #2    

Richard Vatz

     I am upset at the passing of Gary Cohen.


     Gary was a good friend of mine in grade school, and I have many pictures of his and my playing with Jimmy Millivac (sp?) .  Our friendship did not last belong that period, but he was an incredibly good person with no malice, just good-hearted friendliness.




01/03/19 12:55 AM #3    

Ian Goldstein (Goldstein)

Shocked to hear the news of Gary. Hadn't seen him in years, however he remembered me when ran into each other. Shared old memories from college and TA. May The Lord be with you. RIP.

01/03/19 02:59 PM #4    

Nathalie Cohen (Hoffman (Ditchey))

I am so sad to hear of my cousin Gary's passing. He was the son of Jerry, my Dad's (Herb Cohen's) older brother. Both of our families lived on Denniston Avenue and I remember walking to shul, the Hebrew Institute, every Saturday with Gary and his family.

He was always such a good guy and he passed away way too soon.

01/03/19 04:34 PM #5    

Robert Fischer


01/04/19 12:01 PM #6    

Elizabeth Stein (Name Change: Abigail Weissman)

Ohhh I really feel sad about Gary's passing. Although we hardly knew each other, he somehow epitomized goodness, sweetness, and kindness to me.  

Nathalie, I am sorry for your loss.

01/04/19 04:06 PM #7    

David Slavkin

Always touched by the loss of a classmate, I searched for a memory.

Our yearbook places Gary and I in Latin Club, Grade 9.

Eheu fugaces labuntur anni - Alas, the fleeting years slip by. (Horace) 

Aeternum vale - Farewell forever  

My sympathies to his friends and family.


01/04/19 07:35 PM #8    

Jaquelin Bazell (Mejak)

So very saddened to learn of Gary's thoughts and prayers are with his family and our TA classmate family...RIP gentle soul.

01/05/19 05:19 PM #9    

David Feldman

Here are a few Gary Cohen stories from well more than 50 years ago.


Gary and I attended the evening classes at Hebrew Institute for bar mitzvah prep. After they built the new building, Hebrew Institute straddled Denniston along Forbes. On more than one occasion we cut out of class and headed down to Rosen’s Drug Store for sodas. We would brazenly walk by the windows of Rabbi Rovner’s class room. One day when we came back to school Rabbi Abrams, the head of school, was waiting for us. He told us we were being “promoted” and led us down the hall to — Rabbi Rovner’s room.  After introducing us to Rabbi Rovner in the hall, Rabbi Abrams left. Rabbi Rovner, a little guy, pushed us up against the wall and held us there. He told us in no uncertain terms that our forays to Rosen’s were to cease and desist immediately. 


While on Rabbi Rovner, I vividly remember the evening when Rabbi Rovner announced at the beginning of class, “This is the happiest day of my life." He and his family were post-war refugees from Europe who came to the US by way of South America. “Today, I became an American citizen.” Seems particularly poignant these days.


One more Hebrew Institute story though I don’t remember if Gary was in that class or not. The Pittsburgh Symphony held 5 or 6 Young People’s Concert a year at The Shrine Auditorium. $2.50 bought you a subscription. On a few Wednesday afternoons we would pile out of Linden School and get on busses. After the concert we would get off of one bus and a few of us would get on another bus to Hebrew Institute. On those concert days Mrs. Taub would be our substitute teacher. Her husband, Chaim Taub, our regular teacher, was second violin for the Symphony and couldn’t make it back in time to teach. Somehow that made a lasting impression on me; that an artist as accomplished as Mr. Taub was teaching at my Hebrew school seemed quite an honor. Chaim Taub went on to  become the Concert Master of The Israel Symphony Orchestra. His master classes attracts(ed?) students from around the world. His videos are on YouTube. It only occurred to me much later that something was amiss in our society if an artist like Mr. Taub needed a second job.


Gary and I used to go to the WMHA in Oakland to swim and play basketball. One day after leaving the YMHA, we stopped at a hole in the wall on the corner of Craig and Forbes. We ordered two hot dogs. As soon as the counter guy put them on the grill we remembered it was Passover. We left without a word of explanation before the hot dogs were ready. We rode the street car home in guilty silence for having absconded before paying. 


I can still almost taste the bagels with cream cheese and scrambled eggs we used to enjoy during first period at a little place on, I think, the corner of Phillips and Murray.


One day Gary “borrowed”, without permission, his older brother’s old Ford, if I recall the make rightly.  We drove up to Somerset to see some girls we had somehow met. On the way back on the Turnpike we had a flat tire. We had no money so we had to call for help, somebody’s AAA card. Gary took quite a hiding from his brother for that. 


Another time we decided to get on a passenger train headed for New York. We didn’t have tickets. When the conductor came around we tried the old, “I thought you had the tickets.” “No, I thought YOU had the tickets.” We were put off in Greensburg. I don’t remember how we got home.


As I recall, Gary's father worked nights for the Postal Service. Unusual in my experience when my dad was home at six and dinner soon followed. His mother was a social worker who worked days out of an office in Oakland. Again unusual in my experience. My mother and none of my friends' mothers worked. One day on hiatus from school we went in to screw around in Oakland and catch the last couple of innings of a Pirates day came. They left the gates unguarded from the 7th inning on. We had the chutzpah to visit his mom in her office. We undoubtedly told some bold-faced lie about school being out. She was cool about it or, at least, didn't warn Gary off of me.


I never saw Gary after high school. Apparently he was in the Marine Corps and was sent to Viet Nam. I was in the Marine Corps at the same time but I was sent to sunny Southern California were I single-handedly held off the Viet Cong, no wall or anything. If I have misremebered, apologies. 


Gary survived our adventures together and went on to have a successful career and wonderful family judging by his website and obit.


Semper Fi, Gary.

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