Mark I. Cohen, D.D.S., 69, of Lenox, Mass., was born on October 6, 1948 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Hyman Cohen and Elsie Gomberg Cohen. Dr. Cohen died on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. He attended G.W. Hewlett High School, graduating in 1966 and was a graduate of Syracuse University, class of 1970, with a BS degree. He went on to attend Loyola Dental School, Chicago, Ill., and he did a 3 year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, at Cook County Hospital, also in Chicago.
Dr. Cohen and his family moved to the Berkshires in 1980 and he practiced in Pittsfield for 21 years. He enjoyed the respect of colleagues and patients alike, many of whom credited him with changing their experience of dentistry. His gentle and assured manner calmed many an anxious patient and for his younger patients, their parents, as well. He was sorely missed when he retired in 2001, at the age of 51, as the result of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
He and his wife, Barbara Kipnis Cohen, would have celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on December 25, 2017 and the 50th anniversary of their first date in the summer of 1967. They are the parents of Alex Cohen of Mashpee, Mass., and Philip Cohen (Emily) of Richmond, Mass., and the grandparents of Charlotte Hunter Cohen, of Richmond. There is nothing that pleased Mark more than being ‘Pops’ to his boys and ‘Poppy’ to his granddaughter. He also leaves his sister, Donna Schuler (Barry), of Boynton Beach, Fla., and many nieces and nephews. He was also much loved as a brother-in law by Linda (Kipnis) Mitchell (Giora) and Ellen (Kipnis) Kanner and by his mother-in law, Lillian Kipnis, who knew him for so long she considered him her ‘son.’
Dr. Cohen was a great fan of the New York Jets and Giants and the New York Yankees and the Mets. His first love, however, was the Syracuse Orange basketball team and watching the Orange play on television was a fall family ritual with the ever-present hope that the team would continue to play into the tournament season. Involvement with sports didn’t stop with being a spectator. Dr. Cohen coached Minors (baseball) in Pittsfield and served as the President of South Little League in Pittsfield. He supported the athletic involvement of both of his sons, Philip in baseball and tennis and Alex in swimming and basketball, and arranged his schedule to be at games and matches whenever he could.
Attention to detail, so crucial in his professional life, translated to a love of creating beautifully manicured gardens and to a creative and technical excellence in carpentry. Clean lines and aesthetically well-crafted shapes were his goals in anything he put his talented hands to. His gardens were once selected to be featured on the Pittsfield Garden Tour. Congregation Ahavath Sholom, his beloved synagogue community, in Great Barrington was beautified by Dr. Cohen’s skill as he applied his carpentry skills to do renovations after his wife assumed the pulpit in 2005. His office, his family’s home and the homes of his children were also the focus of his efforts.
He had a legendary dry sense of humor and you could actually watch and wait as a smile slowly bloomed on his face as he conceived and then delivered his gems that left his listeners laughing, even as they recalled the comments years later. His impersonations of Ethel Merman and Georgie Jessel were hilarious.
Dr. Cohen will be remembered at a memorial service on Thursday, October 12 at 1 p.m. at Temple Anshe Amunim, 26 Broad St., Pittsfield, Mass., conducted by his wife, Spiritual Leader Barbara Kipnis Cohen with a opening welcome by her dear friend and colleague, Temple Anshe Amunim’s Rabbi Josh Breindel. The community is welcome at a gathering at the Temple following the service until 5 p.m. On Sunday, October 15th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. the community is also invited to be with the Cohen family as they gather at the small historic Congregation Ahavath Sholom, 15 North St., Great Barrington, Mass., where Dr. Cohen’s wife serves as Spiritual Leader. Contributions in memory of Dr. Cohen will be much appreciated and may be sent to Congregation Ahavath Sholom, PO Box 464, Great Barrington, MA 01230.