Obituary: Judith and Elliott Cohen

Obituary: Judith and Elliott Cohen

Judith and Elliott Cohen died within seconds of each other July 29, 2020.

Judith and Elliott Cohen
Judith and Elliott Cohen

Judith and Elliott Cohen died within seconds of each other July 29, 2020, at Piedmont Hospital. They lived extraordinary lives. Married for more than 59 years, their love for one another made an indelible impression on everyone who knew them. Originally from Chicago, they moved to Atlanta in 1972 without knowing anyone, but with hopes of building a beautiful and meaningful life for themselves and their children. And did they ever.

Elliott was an incredible husband and father who was one of the founding partners of the law firm now known as Cohen Pollock Merlin Turner. Elliott summed up his philosophy of life in a letter he wrote to the firm’s attorneys in 1999. “When we formed many years ago, it was my intention to create a firm which would lack pomposity and arrogance, which would be devoid of internal politics and which, at the same time, would render high quality, innovative services on a responsive basis with continuing concern for our clients’ well-being. Additionally, it was my hope that those associated with the firm would put back into the community, through civic or charitable pursuits, some of the success which would, hopefully, accrue to us. Perhaps the concept was utopian; nevertheless, over the course of these past years, it proved valid, and the firm has prospered.” He embodied and embraced these values with incredible zest, as a leader, a mentor, and a teacher to the many who found themselves within his sphere. Above all, Elliott was a true gentleman and a genuine mensch. For many years he served as a director on many nonprofit boards including the 20 years he proudly served with unreserved love and dedication to the American Joint Distribution Committee.

Judith was a devoted wife and mother driven by her deep desire to help others. It was her clear and early understanding of the challenge and opportunity to help Soviet Jewry that first led to her involvement with Jewish Family & Career Services. While she served as director on almost every Jewish nonprofit board over the years, her passion was JF&CS. Judith’s tenacity, commitment, compassion, concern, and ability were formidable. She was proud to serve JF&CS as president and remained active with the organization throughout her life. Judith’s hard work, sacrifice and outstanding leadership changed the lives of thousands of people, many of whom she never met. She was pure goodness, plain and simple.
Judith and Elliott shared a legendary love story. While they faced many challenges in life, they always found comfort in each other. They shared an insatiable desire to explore the world and loved to travel with close friends and family. They enjoyed an active and vibrant life both in Atlanta and Palm Springs. They had tickets to everything – concerts, plays, lectures, and movies. Every night was an adventure to be shared with close friends. They were witty, funny, warm, compassionate and lived life to the fullest. They died as they lived, together and holding hands.

Their unexpected loss leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew them, none more than their devoted daughter Jill Cohen (Nina Spiegel); daughter-in-law Susan Sikora Cohen; grandchildren Jordan (Kate), Dionysus, and Ashley Cohen; and great-granddaughter Luna Cohen. Judith is also survived by her brother Richard (Sara) Mesirow.

Donations may be made to the Judith and Elliott Cohen Fund at Jewish Family & Career Services, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, or Congregation Or Hadash.

Due to COVID-19, the funeral was limited to immediate family only Aug. 2. The funeral was livestreamed on Zoom.

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