Helen Cohen

Helen Cohen (Green)

Wednesday, August 25th, 1920 - Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
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HELEN COHEN 1920-2020
Helen Cohen (the former Helen Green of Fall River, Ma.) passed away at her Assisted Living Residence in Poway, Ca. on March 31, 2020 at the age of 99. She was born on August 25, 1920 in Fall River, Ma. where she resided until her marriage in August 1943 to Hy Cohen, (a native of New Bedford, Ma.) at which time she moved to New Bedford, where she and her family lived until their move to Rancho Bernardo, San Diego in 1974.  Helen was predeceased by her cherished daughter, Wendy Cohen in December 1985, and the "love of her life" husband, Hy Cohen, in April 2010, to whom she was deeply devoted for 67 years. She is survived by three of her four children: J y l (Jerylee) Cohen of Berkeley, Ca. Nancy Cohen, and Larry Cohen of Los Gatos, Ca.

As a full time and deeply committed mother, Helen's entire life centered around her 4 beloved children, her dear husband, volunteer work, teaching, music, and creativity. She was a founding member of Temple Adat Shalom - Poway, Ca. in 1974, and an active and enthusiastic participant in her beloved Congregation for the last 45 years, serving on every committee that existed. Helen's deep identification with Judaism and its inherent values informed her life. Her meaningful relationships with Rabbi David and Cantor Lori were forever close to her heart. Helen joyfully taught Kg Sunday School at Temple Adat Shalom for almost 30 years, and genuinely loved each child as if one of her own. The lively annual performance by her young students enacting the Jewish Holidays, was an original piece which Helen lovingly wrote and directed.

Back in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Helen delighted in her many years as a Brownie Scout Leader for 2nd graders, regularly entertained at Senior Centers and Residences for the Blind by playing the piano as well as performing in musical skits, and diligently tutored elementary school children in reading. She was active in the New Bedford JCC, Tifereth Israel Synagogue Sisterhood, and Hadassah. Helen cordially hosted exchange students from Japan to live with her family for successive summers, given her fascination of learning first hand about other cultures. After moving to Rancho Bernardo in the Fall of 1974, Helen enthusiastically became involved in her new community's "Welcome Wagon" organization for new residents. She happily sang in the Rancho Bernardo Chorale for many years. The RB Chorale, and her warm relationship with its esteemed founder/director/conductor, Pat Bean were among the highlights of Helen's life.

From early childhood on, Helen loved the Fine Arts - especially classical music and theater- attending live performances whenever possible in New Bedford, Boston, and San Diego. She was a talented writer, as well as an extremely creative seamstress, baker, and innovator of colorful and unique home-made Halloween and Purim costumes. Throughout the years, Helen creatively enhanced her everyday outfits with eye-catching dramatic accessories. Helen's zest for life, huge radiant smile, sparkling eyes, contagious laughter, extroverted, enthusiastic, entertaining, and endlessly curious personality, warm, caring heart, helpful spirit, admirable resiliency, and genuine interest in other people and their life stories will be fondly remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 1:00pm
    Graveside, El Camino Memorial Park
    5600 Carroll Canyon Road
    SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rabbi David Castiglione
    Cantor Lori Wilinsky Frank
  • Interment

    Vista Del Sol Jewish Lawn
    5600 Carroll Canyon Road
    SAN DIEGO, CA 92121
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Located in The El Camino Memorial Park


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Plant a Tree in Memory of Helen
2 trees have been planted in memory of Helen Cohen (Green)

Jennifer Garstang

Posted at 06:17pm
I'm so sorry to hear about Helen's passing. I got my first experience in teaching as her madricha at the TAS day school. I didn't know it then, but she started me down a life-long love of teaching young kids, which has been an incredibly rewarding career.

She loved all her students, and all of us at TAS. She would make sure to check in with each of us during oneg to take our hand and hear what we'd been up to. She would always light up with such genuine pride and joy at each of our successes, no matter how small. She has been such a central figure in our community that it's hard to believe I won't get to see her next time I visit. But even though we will all miss her so much, I know her legacy will live on in our community for a very long time.

Thank you, Helen, for a lifetime of care and love.

Marlene Garstang

Posted at 02:02pm
David and I so loved seeing Helen at every temple event and getting the opportunity to give her a big hug. I will miss her shining face and warm greeting. She touched the lives of both my daughters: she taught Rachel in Sunday school, and Jenny became her classroom madricha. I was deeply honored to play a part in two of her milestone celebrations: as MC for her retirement party and providing the toast at her big birthday celebration. Oh how she beamed! I will always remember her as she looked in my favorite photo of her and Rachel on Purim many years ago. Rachel sat in her lap, and both were dressed in their colorful Purim finery. That photo captured the essence of Helen perfectly: loving, colorful, and beautiful in every way. My heart goes out to you, her family, and I know she will be terribly missed.

Jonathan S

Posted at 01:58pm
What a wonderful and caring woman. Almost 40 years ago I was one of her kindergarten kids at Temple Adat Shalom. As a kid, there was just something about her - she was everyone's favorite grandma. Now as an adult, I recognize it was all of the love she poured into 'her kids.' How amazing that she continued to follow and know so many of us into adulthood, and get to know our kids too. It’s a blessing to have had Helen in my life, and to have been able to keep seeing her year after year at our family seders.

Life is short. Even a good long one like hers. Makes me wish I could be there to hug you.

Love you always.

Melissa Sachs

Posted at 12:20pm
With loving memories of "Auntie Helen Cohen",
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Helen Cohen — Plant a Tree Now


Posted at 12:15pm
So many memories in my lifetime of Auntie Helen who was my second Mom. Most make me still laugh out loud today!Too many to share but since it's the season of Passover - our seders were always fun - we'd all start giggling when Uncle Hy would begin - and those matzo balls - like golf balls - every year still a topic of discussion and laughter! I share in the family's sadness. Auntie Helen, you will forever be in my heart.

Melissa and Paul

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