Samuel Cohen, 89, beloved husband of Ida (Epstein) for almost 70 years, passed away peacefully on October 20 after a full life as husband, father, friend and businessman. Sam was born in 1922, “by the railroad tracks,” in New Rochelle, NY. At age 13 he and his family moved to Palestine, and, in lieu of attending school, Sam worked in the bookkeeping department of the British Thompson Company. Two years later his family moved to Hartford, where he quickly made up for his lost years of schooling, excelling in academics and track, and graduating from Weaver High School. At age 20 Sam married the love and light of his life, Ida. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (precursor to the Air Force) during WW II, flying 50 missions as Lead Bombardier and 1st Lieutenant. He was a proud member of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group based in southern Italy. In 1952 he co-founded C & S Distributors, a wholesale building materials distributor and manufacturer, with locations in South Windsor, Bridgeport and Albany, NY. Sam was a pioneer and innovator in that industry, retiring in his late 70’s. He was an exacting businessman and his employees, suppliers, and competitors knew that his word was truly his bond. Sam had a passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers, sports cars, tennis and Broadway musicals. He and Ida enjoyed time in Boca Raton, Fla, surrounded by family and friends. Sam and Ida were founding members of Beth Shalom in Hartford, and were instrumental in the merger with Beth Hillel Synagogue in Bloomfield. Sam leaves a proud legacy of integrity and generosity.
Sam cherished Ida’s and his large extended family and wide circle of close friends. In addition to Ida, he leaves son Mark, daughter Janice and son-in-law Byron Fisher, daughter-in-law Holly, sister Annette Yush, and nine beloved grandchildren: Jared and wife Lisa, Ali, Ian, Tes, Max, Austin, Nathan, Eli and Nora. He was pre-deceased by son Fred and daughter-in-law Adrienne. The family thanks Dr. Thomas O’Connor, the Hebrew Health Hospice, and the many supportive caregivers.
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 24 at 10am at Beth Hillel Synagogue, 160 Wintonbury Avenue, Bloomfield, with Rabbi Gary Atkins and Sam’s dear friend Rabbi Philip Lazowski co-officiating. Interment, with military honors, follows in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson Street Extension, Avon. Shiva will be observed Mon, Tues and Wed from 7-9pm, at the home of Mark Cohen, 8 Muirfield Lane, Gillette Ridge, Bloomfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either: Fred Cohen Memorial Fund (checks made payable to Hartford Hospital) c/o Hartford Hospital Fund Development, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, 06012 OR Adrienne Cohen Israel Fund c/o Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation-Emek Shalom, 55 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury, 06070.
Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary. For information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Sam: www.weinsteinmortuary.com.