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October 17, 2003 - Image 109

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Obitnrie

Obituaries are updated regularly and archived on JN Online:
vvvvw.detroitjewishnews.corn

Builder Of Note

DIANA LIEBERMAN

StalfWriter

T

he world knew Maurice
Cohen as a successful busi-
nessman — the developer
of the Somerset Collection
in Troy and other Detroit-area malls
and office complexes.
But Mr. Cohen, who died Oct. 13,
2003, at 67 years of age, was also "a
man who would break into tears at the
notes of a jazz melody," said pianist
David Syme.

Maurice Cohen

"Morry wa.1 so passionate about
music he rescued the careers of several
of the best of Detroit's jazz musicians,"
Syme said.
"He also would hire some of them to
play at nursing homes and hospitals.
He'd take his trumpet and play along."
It was Syme's father, the late Rabbi
M. Robert Syme of Temple Israel in
West Bloomfield, who got Mr. Cohen
involved in the Jewish Hospice and
Chaplaincy Network "Morry told my
father, 'I have a void in my heart; a hole
that must be filled,'" Syme remem-
bered. "The result was a very generous
bequest to hospice."
Rabbi E.B. "Bunny" Freedman; direc-
tor of the Jewish Hospice and
Chaplaincy Network, said that, since
Mr. Cohen's initial involvement with
hospice in 1993, he continued to make
sure the Jewish approach to end-of-life
care was available for Jewish patients at

non-Jewish as well as Jewish facilities.
In addition to monetary contribu-
tions, he and his late friend Jerry
Bielfield personally "adopted" several
Jewish patients, whom they would visit
every week.
"Morry was also a great supporter of
the Michigan Opera Theatre and of
Kadima [which offers residential
options for adults with mental illness-
es]," Rabbi Freedman said, "and, in
1994, he hosted the kiCkoff of [Hospice
of Michigan's] Crystal Rose Ball."
However, he added, "Morry was a
man who avoided the
limelight studiously."
Through his longtime
friend Frank Stella, Mr.
Cohen became a substan-
tial contributor to the
Southfield-based Ecu-
menical Institute for
Jewish-Christian Studies,
where his generosity
enabled the organization
to set up its annual Dove
Award.
Stella remembers the
support Mr. Cohen gave
him at the death of his
wife, followed several
months later by the death
of his son, who had been a
Navy commander.
"There was a military
funeral, and the com-
mander was apologizing to
me — the trumpeter was-
n't there to play taps,"
Stella said. 'All at once, we
heard taps from over the
hill — it was Morry."
"I loved that man," Stella said.
"That's the kind of guy he was — a per-
fect friend who did everything for me in
my time of need."
Mr. Cohen is survived by his wife,
Margo Cohen of Birmingham; sons,
Jeffrey Jay Cohen of Bloomfield Hills,
Eric Brandon Cohen of Lenado, Colo.;
daughter, Lesli Cohen of Birmingham;
sister and brother-in-law, Maxine and
Don Benyas of Farmington Hills;
grandchildren, Samara Johnson and
Sedona Cohen; brother-in-law, Mary
Mittelman.
He was the dear brother of the late
Harriet Mittelman.
Interment was at Machpelah
Cemetery. Contributions may be made
to the Living Free Foundation, 333 E.
Maple, Suite 444, Birmingham, MI
48009. Arrangements by Dorfman
Chapel. ❑

An Unbeatable Spirit

IV

and everyone," said Josh.
ith courage and grace,
Gary Farthing was there for his
June Farthing battled
wife every step of the way, helping
breast cancer for 12
her continue a good quality of life.
years ---- but never let
An integral part of Mrs. Farthing's
the disease defeat her spirit.
life
was the close-knit group of
To the many people she befriend-
women
from her Farmington Hills
ed, Mrs. Farthing was a constant
neighborhood. Diane Garbooshian,
source of inspiration and delight.
Roberta Lazar, Debra Rosenblum,
June Farthing, of Farmington.
Elaine Shapiro and Cyd Stone
Hills, died Oct. 6, 2003, at age 50.
shared everything with her — from
Born in New Jersey, she graduated
playing tennis to taking her for
Bowling Green State University in
chemotherapy. She celebrated her
Ohio and taught special education_
50th birthday with "the girls" in Las
students in Toledo and 'Taylor. In
Vegas in June.
1976, she married Gary Farthing, a
"June lit up the room with her
financial planner. Their son Josh was
born in 1979. For 11 years she was a smile and her eyes radiated love,
warmth and joy for life," said Lazar,
salesperson for tax-book publisher
speaking
for the group.
Commerce Clearing House.
Mrs.
Farthing's
friends at Gilda's
In 1991, a diagnosis
Club in Royal Oak
of breast cancer began
conferred about their
Mrs. Farthing's long
cancer treatments as
quest for survival. She
well as the lighter side
returned to work after
of life. She shared a
her initial surgery and
special
bond with
recovery. But three
these women and was
years'later, the cancer
saddened when too
recurred; and she
many died too young.
underwent an experi-
She was a volunteer
mental stem-cell trans-
with the annual Race
plant in Houston. For
for the Cure breast-
five months, she
cancer fund-raiser and
fought for her life,
also delivered Meals
with the care-giving
on Wheels.
help of her sister Karen
"June could walk
Diener, family and
into a room with one
friends. In 1998, a sec
hundred strangers; and within 30
ond stern cell transplant was neces-
minutes,
almost everyone loved her,"
sary and; once again, she rallied.
said
her
husband.
"She fought a
Dr. Ishmael Jaiyesirrii, her oncolo-
most valiant battle.
gist for the past nine years, visited
"The one message she would like
her at home when she could no
to paSS on is to live every day `with
longer go to his office.

-

was inspired to reach
with cancer. She vol-
-unteered at the hospital. Her riuttur-
hig ways enabled people to open their
sh ore
,,,,,,,,, " fears -
4,,
dar
-
. : 4f ' o,,, ,, 1: ifi

..'

1. •
z.>reqi,

goals for herse
ing light in her
wanted to be there for his graduation
from high school and then Michigan
State University. She was overjoyed
when he was accepted to Wayne
State University medical school
where he is now in his third year.
"She saw the best in everything,

courage and try to touch at least on e
person in a positive way."
June Farthing is survived by her
husband, Gary; son jos' other'
Marion Lang Mandell; sister and
brother in-law, Karen and Michael
Diener of California;'brothers-in4aw
and sisters-in law. Rick and
" arthing, Rod and Carla Farth ing,
Farthing, Shelley and G ary.
r, Jamie and Debbie Wino,.
ickisand Rich 13ringman, Daniel
Harrington,
She was the beloved daughter of
the late Alfred Lang and the late
Harry Mandell.
Contributions may be made to
Gilda's Club. Arrangements by Ira
Kaufman Chapel. 0

.

10/17

2003

109

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