Lillian Egnot Cohen, age 76, of Erie, died on April 8, 2014, at home, surrounded by family.
Born on March 17, 1938, in Beresford, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Nick and Rose Weselskey Egnot.
She was a graduate of Academy High School and received her Bachelor's degree from Mercyhurst College, where she majored in elementary education and minored in theatre. She earned a Master's Degree in counseling from The Pennsylvania State University.
Lillian served as an Administrator in the Adult Education Programs at Penn State Behrend, and then at Mercyhurst College.
She grew up in the Russian Orthodox Church and then became a member of Temple Anshe Hesed, when she married Bill Cohen. She has been quoted as saying, "In our home we celebrate: Chanukah, Christmas, and Russian Christmas. Some years we also celebrate the Chinese New Year."
In her early years, Lillian had a career in radio, known to her listening audience as "Miss DJ" at Station WERC in Erie. In addition to her on-air work, she served as Record Librarian. She turned down an offer to work as record librarian for Philadelphia Station WFIL, a job that would have included Dick Clark's "American Band Stand." She chose to remain in Erie and get her degree from Mercyhurst.
She was very active in theater in Pennsylvania and Ohio, beginning in childhood at the Erie Playhouse. While she worked in several areas of production, she is probably best remembered as an actress in roles ranging from Bernadette in "Song of Bernadette" to the stripper, Mazeppa in "Gypsy."
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother Ronald Egnot.
Survivors include her husband of 52 years, William Cohen; son, Samuel Cohen and wife LynnMarie of New York City; daughter, Lynn Ellen Cohen and her partner J. Blake Fichera of New York City; brother, James Egnot, his wife Barbara, and their daughter Brittany of Loudonville New York; and cousin, Allen "Wes" Weselskey and his family of Virginia Beach, Va. She is also survived by granddaughter, Rose and grandson Wolf Cohen.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday May 25, 2014, at Temple Anshe Hesed, at 2 p.m. Arrangements entrusted to Burton Funeral Home and Crematory, 602 W. 10th St.
Memorials may be made to the VNA Hospice of Erie, 2253 West Grandview Boulevard, Erie, PA 16506. Send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com
Published in the Erie Times-News on May 22, 2014