Welcome to the memorial website of our loved one, Ann Cohen.  Please enjoy the images and stories collected here and please contribute your own. 

Ann's family and friends gathered on January 11, 2020 for a celebration of her life.  The Gallery section of this website contains video of the reflections of Wendy Von Courter, Michael Ross, Renee Keaney, Adam Cohen, Jesse Cohen and Jeff Cohen, as well as the singing of Rosalind Ross and Nicole Lashomb, and a reading by Linda Cohen.

One of Ann's dear friends wrote that she was “a very special person. An energizer bunny with a heart bigger than the far horizons and compassion and caring deeper than the oceans.”  Another called her “an institution in Marblehead, because of the difference she made in the lives of generations of students and in the life of the community, through her extraordinary dedication.” 

She embodied the Jewish values of tzedakah (social justice and community engagement) and tikkun olam (heal the world).

Throughout her life she cared about the meaningful impact she had -- which was great and lasting -- and never about the recognition she received.  

And no impact is greater or more enduring than her true love and passion for her family. She epitomizes the mother wanting what’s best for her children. There were no limits to what she would do for us, and nothing gave her more pleasure than the time she spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

Ann inspired political passion and intellectual curiosity during countless family dinner discussions. But more than that, she lived her values -- Ethical Conviction.  Hard Work. Family. Healthy Lifestyle, and Fun -- and her personal example will be her legacy.

Ann is survived by her children Cindy (Israel), Linda (Boston), Rich and his wife Cheryl (Berkshire County) and Jeff and his wife Flora (Salem), and her grandchildren Adam, Jesse, Hadas, Yotam and Yahav, and her great grandchildren Eyal, Gal and Amy, and her sister Myrna (Florida), and many nieces and nephews.

When you think of Ann/Mom/Grammie,
she wouldn't want you to feel sad,
just hug the person next to you 
and think of how you can help someone in need.
Donations in her memory can be gifted to Bridgewell or the Southern Poverty Law Center
Posted by Eileen Mathieu on January 13, 2020
January 12, 2020

Dear Jeff, Richard and family,
I knew Ann in 3 contexts:
First, she tutored my daughter in 8th grade. It went like this: we were ‘tearing our hair out” over our daughter’s total disregard for math, and Ann would come over for an hour, get some concepts across despite our daughter’s distracting behavior, laugh with her, and reassure us that she would pass math! Which she did! Ann was warm, kind, and understanding of the dynamics of trying to intervene with a 13 yr old who had NO interest in math.
Second, I began attending MDTC in desperation after Trump got elected, and Ann always welcomed newcomers, made sure I signed in, made me feel at home. Then as I got more involved, I saw how she was so instrumental in the scholarship choices, which she took very seriously, and even petitioned to have 2 scholarships given each year because the young democrats at the High School were so special and deserving. Also, as I began to ask to include different issues in the program, she and Renee were always very open to adding 5-10 minutes of announcements regarding issues related to the environment, and she encouraged me to run to be a delegate to the state convention in 2017, also to run to be a member of MDTC in spring 2018. She was really open to someone like me, (who had just appeared on the scene in Feb of 2017) to participate more and more fully, it really helped overcome any feeling of there being an “old guard” at MDTC.
Third, I noticed someone who looked a lot like her when I started taking a stretch class at the YMCA in early 2017, then realized it was her, then got up my courage to say hello and that I knew her from MDTC. After that, we would talk regularly, and she shared with me that she had had a spinal fusion and still found stretch very helpful, as I was very apprehensive that I would hurt myself, and didn’t find the class easy at all! She and I talked by phone when she was in the hospital after breaking her kneecap, and I was so impressed at how philosophical she was, that she was not angry at the YMCA or whoever left the mat buckled, and how fully convinced she was that she would get better, and that for now, going to Richard’s to recuperate was the best thing. She said how Richard and his family took great care of her, had a beautiful 1 floor home, and how restful the scenery of the Berkshires was for her.
Another time after stretch class, she shared with me how distressed she was about her macular degeneration, how she was trying to read the computer to call people for one of Jeff’s races, and how hard it was to read, and how frustrated she was by this. Again she was philosophical as well as frustrated, and making the best of it. At least one time, I drove her to an event so she could avoid driving at night.
So in summary, I feel that she was an amazing role model for kindness, warmth, inclusivity, persistence in the face of physical difficulties, and dedication to getting the political system to work. When I feel demoralized, I think of her, and know that she would still be working for political change no matter how discouraging a turn events might take.
She clearly lived at full tilt until her stroke, and not only “had a good life”, but lived a “good life”, an AMAZINGLY good life, generous, helping others, loving and caring for her family. I admire her so much, and will try in my remaining years to follow in her footsteps, including having joy and fun as well as incredible dedication to causes. I hope that at my passing, people will feel a little bit of the tremendous admiration that people do and did for your mother. She is truly an inspiration.

Sincerely,

Eileen Mathieu
Marblehead
Posted by Kevin Collins on January 10, 2020
I met Ann when we were looking to move in next door and was won over by her immediately. So she was our neighbor, she was our friend, a family member- to our two boys she was Auntie Ann. She would brighten your day every time you talked to her. She was full of love, and wisdom, and caring, and boundless energy. At a loss for words but to say we loved her and we miss her so much.
Posted by Anne Sterling on January 9, 2020
I only knew Ann through the reflected light shed by her son Jeff Cohen. Jeff is always learning, growing, helping, sharing, leading with compassion and wise ways. Any lady who could have raised such a son is entitled to bask in eternal sunshine. We look forward to learning more about her wisdom and passions this Saturday. I can only hope to learn from the example of a such a life well lived and well loved. Well done.... Brava!
Posted by Ann Grieves on January 9, 2020
I met Ann at the Marblehead YMCA after I retired from the Salem Country Club 7 years ago. Ann and I clicked right away for some reason. She had the same personality as my own mom did.
There were five or six of us that became really close. She was our inspiration . Ann took 11 classes a week (yes 11 a week) She took three or 4 class on some days. How could I not go to the gym if Ann who was older than me took 11 classes a week. She had an operation on her back. I went to visit her and she wanted to know how my family was doing!!! I figured this is it. Not with Ann !!! She was back in about 3 months. She didn't take 11 classes but she was back to the gym.

Ann would talk about her grandson in the Berkshires a lot. She loved her sons and daughters. She talked about them a lot . She was so excited to go visit her great grandchild in Israel but was not able to make it.

We all have baggage some heavier than otheres. Ann's way was talk about it for a minute do we you can then go on with your life. I learned this from her !!! What a great lesson.
I feel priveledge to have Ann in my life . It may have been only 7 years but I learned so much from her.
I will cherish our memories Ann. I love you ....
Rest In Peace my dear friend.....
Posted by Aimee Annichiarico on January 8, 2020
I know she was a great force in this world and in all lives that she touched. I am so sorry for your loss. Much love to you all. Aimee
Posted by Margie Herrick on January 2, 2020
Leavings
A tiny seed flourishes anew
Nurtured on memories of friendship
Basking in the warmth of a still shared vision
It thrives in reflected love light
There is a vacuum to fill
The heart of a lioness has left us
Leaving a pride of cubs
A tribe cocooned in a soul gentle, yet fierce
The tides of time will not erase your footsteps
Posted by Michael Meehan on December 23, 2019
I will remember Ann for her sense of humor her sense of justice and fairness.
She was foremost always a teacher in the best way always sharing knowledge and perspective. She could be a bit demanding on occasion.Once when I was
running down voters late on a very dark election night I returned to our base complaining of not finding the house numbers...Ann quietly got up and returned with a flash light and sent me back out the door...problem solved! She was a sweet, funny, smart lady who I will miss.
Posted by Lee Mondale on December 21, 2019
Ann taught mathematics to both of our daughters at what is now the Village Middle School. it was obvious to us that Ann taught each of her students, not just the class. Later we knew her through the Marblehead Democratic Town Committee and the League of Women Voters of Marblehead. Ann had personal and social goals and worked every day to attain these goals. She has been sorely missed this last year even as we knew she was being cared for lovingly by her family. Now, we must say good bye but we will always remember her and her caring heart. Lee and Jason Mondale
Posted by Carl King on December 21, 2019
My first memory of Ann is from 1972. She was hosting a coffee at her home in Clifton for my campaign for state representative. She called the afternoon of the scheduled event. She had returned home from school to find the house empty of all light fixtures etc. The event happened regardless. We shared many political battles and some personal ones as well. May she rest in peace.
Posted by Jim Walsh on December 21, 2019
For decades I had the pleasure of working for the election of good Democrats with Ann. She will always be missed by those who knew her. She shared her time, her energy, her sense of humor and her good heart with many of us and we are all grateful for having had her in our lives.
Posted by Brendan Walsh on December 21, 2019
If the actions and attitudes of a Mother's children are a reflection of her, Ann's reflection will shine for many, many years. Kay and I offer our condolences to Ann's loving family and our congratulations to her on a life well lived.
Posted by Mimi Hollister on December 21, 2019
Voting phone banks, Fair Housing, League of Women Voters, signing petitions, making space surrounded by her tchochkys (sp?) at her home, Ann was a colleague and inspiration to me and all of us who work on these things. She would get frustrated but never daunted by the pace of change and good works. I loved being on the same page with her and inspired by her determination. Oh, I will miss you, dear, courageous Ann.
Posted by Ellen Gitelman on December 20, 2019
I really appreciated Ann--that's why I wanted her to date my father! I'll never forget how she was always looking out for things to furnish the school house with to make it special. Or the way she would deeply engage with Adam and Jesse when they were young. Or how she was always there for people (like the time she came to see Brenda perform in Cambridge--for only 4 minutes!). Or how she started exercising and became vegan at age 80. Or how she never gave up on recovering from her stroke. What an inspiration and a joy to talk to. Rich was a real hero for taking care of her after her stroke, but apples don't fall from trees, do they?
Posted by Jane Casler on December 20, 2019
Ann was such an inspiration to me. Her sharp mind and sharp wit. Her compassion and warmth. Her wonderful kids. Her great personality. Her incredible dedication not just to “talking the talk” but more importantly “walking the walk.” She was truly a role model for me and for so many others. I loved her.
Posted by Ann Davis-Allan on December 19, 2019
Ann was an inspirational woman who displayed compassion, commitment, intellect, passion, kindness and humility. Her impact with students, teachers, the community of Marblehead, the state of Massachusetts, and our democracy will never be forgotten. I was honored to be Ann’s friend and colleague. Rest In Peace Ann, your loving energy will be sorely missed.
Posted by Walter Horan on December 19, 2019
Ann was a remarkable volunteer and a true inspiration to me and so many others. Her life was devoted to making the world a better place.
I will miss her-----but never forget her kindness, her generosity, her good humor and her, always, positive spirit.
To her family: please accept my deepest sympathy
Posted by Helen Corbett on December 19, 2019
Ann was a political force to be reckoned with when I first met her in the 1980's. She combined intelligence, passion and good humor to the task of electing good people to office. She enriched the lives of everyone who knew her, worked with her and called her friend. Thank you, Ann. Rest in peace good woman.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Eileen Mathieu on January 13, 2020
January 12, 2020

Dear Jeff, Richard and family,
I knew Ann in 3 contexts:
First, she tutored my daughter in 8th grade. It went like this: we were ‘tearing our hair out” over our daughter’s total disregard for math, and Ann would come over for an hour, get some concepts across despite our daughter’s distracting behavior, laugh with her, and reassure us that she would pass math! Which she did! Ann was warm, kind, and understanding of the dynamics of trying to intervene with a 13 yr old who had NO interest in math.
Second, I began attending MDTC in desperation after Trump got elected, and Ann always welcomed newcomers, made sure I signed in, made me feel at home. Then as I got more involved, I saw how she was so instrumental in the scholarship choices, which she took very seriously, and even petitioned to have 2 scholarships given each year because the young democrats at the High School were so special and deserving. Also, as I began to ask to include different issues in the program, she and Renee were always very open to adding 5-10 minutes of announcements regarding issues related to the environment, and she encouraged me to run to be a delegate to the state convention in 2017, also to run to be a member of MDTC in spring 2018. She was really open to someone like me, (who had just appeared on the scene in Feb of 2017) to participate more and more fully, it really helped overcome any feeling of there being an “old guard” at MDTC.
Third, I noticed someone who looked a lot like her when I started taking a stretch class at the YMCA in early 2017, then realized it was her, then got up my courage to say hello and that I knew her from MDTC. After that, we would talk regularly, and she shared with me that she had had a spinal fusion and still found stretch very helpful, as I was very apprehensive that I would hurt myself, and didn’t find the class easy at all! She and I talked by phone when she was in the hospital after breaking her kneecap, and I was so impressed at how philosophical she was, that she was not angry at the YMCA or whoever left the mat buckled, and how fully convinced she was that she would get better, and that for now, going to Richard’s to recuperate was the best thing. She said how Richard and his family took great care of her, had a beautiful 1 floor home, and how restful the scenery of the Berkshires was for her.
Another time after stretch class, she shared with me how distressed she was about her macular degeneration, how she was trying to read the computer to call people for one of Jeff’s races, and how hard it was to read, and how frustrated she was by this. Again she was philosophical as well as frustrated, and making the best of it. At least one time, I drove her to an event so she could avoid driving at night.
So in summary, I feel that she was an amazing role model for kindness, warmth, inclusivity, persistence in the face of physical difficulties, and dedication to getting the political system to work. When I feel demoralized, I think of her, and know that she would still be working for political change no matter how discouraging a turn events might take.
She clearly lived at full tilt until her stroke, and not only “had a good life”, but lived a “good life”, an AMAZINGLY good life, generous, helping others, loving and caring for her family. I admire her so much, and will try in my remaining years to follow in her footsteps, including having joy and fun as well as incredible dedication to causes. I hope that at my passing, people will feel a little bit of the tremendous admiration that people do and did for your mother. She is truly an inspiration.

Sincerely,

Eileen Mathieu
Marblehead
Posted by Kevin Collins on January 10, 2020
I met Ann when we were looking to move in next door and was won over by her immediately. So she was our neighbor, she was our friend, a family member- to our two boys she was Auntie Ann. She would brighten your day every time you talked to her. She was full of love, and wisdom, and caring, and boundless energy. At a loss for words but to say we loved her and we miss her so much.
Posted by Anne Sterling on January 9, 2020
I only knew Ann through the reflected light shed by her son Jeff Cohen. Jeff is always learning, growing, helping, sharing, leading with compassion and wise ways. Any lady who could have raised such a son is entitled to bask in eternal sunshine. We look forward to learning more about her wisdom and passions this Saturday. I can only hope to learn from the example of a such a life well lived and well loved. Well done.... Brava!
her Life

Introduction to the Chapters of Ann's Life

We will post chapters of Ann's life for everyone who wants to learn more about her, now and well into the future.  

Please come back, and please contribute any thoughts, documents, photos, etc., to Rich xtrarich@gmail.com or 413-281-3318.
Recent stories

Bridgewell

Shared by Jeff Cohen on January 19, 2020
Always standing up for those that needed it most, mom was named to a 6 year term on the Board of Directors for Bridgewell and was asked to serve longer (4 years).

Not someone who would display accolades, glad Rich found this as it reflected much about who she was.

Voting for Ann Cohen...

Shared by Jeff Cohen on January 19, 2020
...to be in our hearts forever.

Bob Katzen made these buttons and so many wore them during the service/celebration.

Mom was the one who helped others get elected and no one ever tried harder. 


SPLC

Shared by Jeff Cohen on January 19, 2020
Mom was so proud to be a member of Southern Poverty Law Center, getting Teaching Tolerance and standing up against hate.