COHEN, William B.
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November 21, 1932 - December 9, 2012
It is with great sadness that the family of William B. Cohen announces his peaceful passing on December 9, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California, with his wife Bernice by his side. He was 80 years old. William's greatest source of pride was his family, who surrounded him with love in his final days. The family would like to thank all of his caregivers who were so supportive and invested in him over the last few years. William B. Cohen was born Zev Dov Cohen in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on November 21, 1932, the middle child of five children of Lily and Morris Cohen. William got his start in business at the young age of 9, contributing to support his family with a variety of endeavours. He became the owner of his first business, ABC Scrap Iron and Metal, in his early 20s. In 1961, he married Nancy Haas from Montreal, Quebec, and the two started their family in Calgary. ABC Scrap Iron and Metal was at the forefront of the recycling movement. William parlayed its success into two even larger entities known as Scrap City and Shred-A-Can, joint enterprises with his two brothers and cousin. On August 3, 1980, William married his beloved wife Bernice. In addition to Scrap City, William and Bernice created Uptown Bottle Depot. In 1986, William and Bernice moved to La Jolla, California where William started a new business-20/20 Recycling. To aid the expansion of 20/20 Recycling, William and Bernice moved to Northern California in 1988. William continued his leadership in the recycling industry with ABC Recycling until his retirement in 2002, when he and Bernice moved to Beverly Hills, California. William, whose first language was Yiddish, was a life-long supporter of Jewish causes. He served as President of the Shaarey Tzedek synagogue in Calgary, President of Calgary Jewish Community Council, and was a leader in countless other Jewish and secular organizations and causes. William was honoured at the JNF Negev Gala Dinner in 1984 for his community involvement. Throughout his life, William enjoyed world travel, good food, theatre, Yiddish and any opportunity to kibbitz. In his final years, William battled Parkinson's disease, yet maintained his great dignity and optimism throughout. William will be sadly missed but always celebrated and admired by his wife Bernice, his brothers Bernard and Meyer and his sisters Ruth and Dianne. Included in his legacy are his children, Robert Cohen (Jill Leiderman), Mark Cohen (Danielle Steiner), Joel (Sandi) Cohen and his stepchildren Deborah Anschell (Howard Shiffman) and Jonathan Anschell (Abigail Goldman). William also took tremendous pride in his grandchildren: Rachel, Samara, Jonah and Sarah. Graveside service for the family will be held at Mt. Sinai Hollywood Hills, California on Monday, December 10 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William Cohen scholarship at Camp B.B. Riback in Pine Lake, Alberta where William, his children and grandchildren spent so many great summers. www.campbb.com/william Memorial service to follow this January in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. William left this life as he lived his life - on his own terms and walking his own path.
Published in The Calgary Herald on Dec. 10, 2012