COHEN, Jerome Sydney Cohen was born in Brockton on February 4, 1927, the middle child of Harry and Betty (Feddy) Cohen – between siblings Phyllis S. Solomon, now of Newton, and Morton D. Cohen, now of Boynton Beach, FL, with whom he was in constant touch throughout his lifetime. Young adulthood changed quickly when Jerome left Brockton to join the U.S. Navy shortly after his 18th birthday in early 1945, training in Michigan and serving in Oakland, Seattle, and Alaska.
On a Nantasket beach shortly after his discharge from the service, Jerome met Rhoda Lillian Doris Blaustein, of Roxbury, MA, whom he discovered playing softball wearing his Navy fatigues loaned to her by his friends. They married in May 1949, embarking on an adventure together that would last over 70 years, and in 1954 they settled into a house in Sharon that would be their home for the next 50. They found a new ranch-house neighborhood on Deerfield Road filled with budding baby boomers, and there he served many as the mechanically adept go-to fixer of malfunctioning appliances and balky machines. He was a devoted father to their two children, a loving and supportive presence as “Uncle Jomy” to a host of nieces and nephews, and as “Pa” a doting grandfather. Jerry was always in his element with kids, enlisting them in songs, games, and laughter, and was extraordinarily patient with barrages of questions beginning with “why?” -- often providing more scientific accuracy than his young questioner had bargained for!
He enjoyed a life truly rich in family, and he will be fondly missed by his devoted wife Rhoda, their children, Jeffrey Cohen and his wife Linda May of Philadelphia, and Shelley Goverman and her husband Barnet Goverman of Mansfield. He loved time with their children Brett and Cristina Goverman of Norwood, and Ashley Goverman of New York City; he was delighted 17 months ago to greet a great-grandchild, Brett and Cristina’s daughter Ellie. Jerry was a warm, wise, and fun presence as uncle to Marcia and Leslie Hirsch and their children Matt and Spike, to Donald Finkel, Andrea and Dick Settles, the late Mark Cohen, Candy Cohen-Paul and Ed Paul, David and Melissa Solomon, Martin and Betsy Solomon, Robert Solomon, Richard and the late Susan Solomon, Sharon and Paul Kaliner, and Sue-Ann Solomon, as well as to cousins, grandnieces and grandnephews, and treasured friends.
After his military service, Jerry returned to the Boston area, pursuing courses at Northeastern University’s Lowell Institute and M.I.T., achieving his certification as a professional engineer, and soon took a long-term position with Raytheon in Bedford, MA, and then other firms, including Alden Systems, Precision Microwave, General Tire, and the Albert N. Solomon Co. Later, he changed direction and embarked on his own businesses with Pants Galore, in Brockton and West Roxbury, and Personalization Systems Inc. He and Rhoda enjoyed singing with the Men’s Club of Sharon. He always enjoyed sports, and was the senior member of local softball teams. He was a willing volunteer, from helping new immigrants with English to donating blood and participating in clinical studies. He and Rhoda moved to Knollsbrook in Stoughton in 2004. In his retirement he took great joy in family, and in shouting the answers on Jeopardy before the contestants did.
About eight years ago Jerry was suddenly diagnosed with leukemia, and then almost miraculously cured, but this precipitated some major changes in his life. He lost some mobility and independence but was always uncomplaining, taking on challenges with a warm and steady disposition, and became a trivia champion at Day Health in Norwood. The family owes heartfelt thanks to the staff there, and to a team of loving home-health caregivers for all of their support over these past years.
A bout of influenza-A took him to the hospital in February 2020, followed by time at a nearby facility for physical therapy. He was getting stronger and preparing for a return home, but then caught the corona virus. Jerry held steady against this for over a week, allowing the family some anxious hopefulness, but he succumbed to the disease on Friday, April 17. He was much loved and will be deeply missed for his warmth, kindness, good humor, analytical mind, precise hand, and generosity of spirit.
Donations in his memory can be directed to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Rye Brook, NY or The Barry L. Price Rehabilitation Center, 27 Christina Street, Newton, MA.
Zoom Shiva Sessions
For family and friends who might wish to participate, there will be three digital Shiva sessions through Zoom early in the week of April 20th. (Sorry, Zoom can’t provide food or schnapps digitally yet.)
To receive a link to the Zoom sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These will be held:
• Monday, April 20, 5:30-6:30pm: Funeral service, followed by informal remembrances of Jerry.
• Tuesday, April 21, 2:00-3:00pm: Remembrances and Mourner’s Kaddish.
• Wednesday, April 22, 7:00-8:00pm: Remembrances and Mourner’s Kaddish.
Feel free to drop into these at any point. You may wish to have a candle ready to light together during the concluding Mourner’s Kaddish for each shiva session.
Schlossberg & Solomon Memorial Chapel
"Family Owned" 781-828-6990