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In Memory: Alex Cohen, Age 97

Obituary - Alex CohenAlex Cohen, of Rye, New York, passed away at home on June 1, 2024. He was 97 years old. Alex was born on January 1, 1927 in New York City, to Henry Cohen and Fanny Menche Cohen, immigrants from Kutno, Poland. He was the first in his family to be born in the United States. He grew up on the Lower East Side and in the South Bronx. He had two sisters, Mildred Glotzer and Sylvia Lieb. He was from humble beginnings. His father was a New York City sanitation worker.

He attended PS 75, PS 48, and then Monroe High School in the Bronx. When he started school he spoke only Yiddish and could not speak English but quickly caught on and was later placed in honors classes. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army during World War II. He served from 1945-1946 both in the Philippines, where he helped run the switchboard, and in Korea, where he helped to build their telephone systems. He was awarded The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (ACPM).

When he returned he enrolled at City College and majored in Business Administration, graduating cum laude in 1950. He passed the CPA exam in 1956 and became a member of the NYS Society of CPAs. He then continued with his education and earned a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School in 1958, which he attended at night while working during the day. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1958. In 1963 he graduated from New York University Law School with a Master of Law in Taxation, which he was able to attend on a scholarship.

He started his professional career at the firm of Nathan A. Parmer, then worked at Weiser and Co, then David L. Lieb, CPAs. After that he worked as a technical editor for a tax publication called the Journal of Taxation. He served as a special investigator at the New York State Elections Frauds Bureau in 1958. He was a lecturer in taxation at Bernard Baruch Graduate School, 1968-1969. In 1968 he went on to found, with his partner, Robert A. Behren, a business magazine called The Practical Accountant where he was the editor-in-chief and which he helped lead until he retired. The magazine was very successful and received recognition from the President of the United States for its contributions to the tax field. After retirement he was an Arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers and also volunteered to help seniors prepare their taxes.

In 1946 he met his future wife and the love of his life, Audrey Cohen at a dance in the Bronx. They were married on December 23, 1950 and were married for 73 years. He was very proud of his family, children Elynn Cohen and Dr. Daniel Strahs, Laura Cohen Kolakowski and Gary Kolakowski, Philip Cohen and Dr. Amanda Raff, as well as his grandchildren, Adam and Kim Kolakowski, Sean and Marcia Kolakowski, Stacey and Justin Moss, Jonathan Strahs, Leah Strahs, Daniel Raff Cohen and Zander Raff Cohen. He also has a great granddaughter, Bren Kolakowski and several more great grandchildren on the way.

Alex was gifted with a wonderful tenor singing voice and was one of the founders of the North Jersey Operetta Guild in 1968. He acted, sang and had supporting lead roles in many of their productions, including The Mikado, Plain and Fancy, and HMS Pinafore. In later years he sang with a group of other retirees in Florida and they were featured in a PBS documentary.

Alex loved traveling and was able to visit many countries in Asia, South and Central America, Africa and Europe. He especially loved bicycle touring and went on many exciting trips including bicycling the Italian Alps and riding to Stonehenge in the UK. After retirement he enjoyed living in Florida and Connecticut, and spending time in Paris, France.

With his dedication to hard work, his modesty, kindness, intelligence, calm and fair demeanor, generosity and dry sense of humor, Alex was a wonderful role model for his family. His was a life well lived and our only regret is that we didn’t get to enjoy even more time with him. During his last illnesses he displayed patience and fortitude. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Alex was predeceased by his loving wife Audrey Cohen (1929-2023).

To celebrate Alex Cohen’s life, honor his spirit and show our love, friends and family are invited to attend his memorial service, which will be held at Rosenthal Memorial Chapel, located at 491 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY, on Thursday, June 6, 2024, from 10 am to 11 am.

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