{ "" }
Share FRED's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Fred Cohen, 76, of Sherborn, formerly of Wayland and Newton, passed away on November 18, 2020 at his home after a 10-year battle with cancer. Fred grew up in Dorchester, attended Boston Latin School (class of 1961) and continued his studies at Boston University where he received a degree in History and Political Science. Shortly after graduating, Fred was drafted into the Army where he served in Vietnam. Despite being against the war, he felt it was his patriotic duty to serve. He became an area intelligence specialist and joined the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Vietnam where he became a Green Beret and paratrooper, ultimately earning a Bronze Star. He once reflected that he felt very fortunate to survive his Vietnam experience and that it gave him a better appreciation of life and how fragile it is: "We have to weigh any and all consequences of war." Fred was vice president of his family's business, the iconic Out of Town News in Harvard Square. He began working there when he was 11 and served newspapers and conversation to generations of Harvard students, sightseers, and Cambridge characters and dignitaries. Fred never met a stranger. New acquaintances often evolved into deep and lasting friendships. He lost his beloved first wife, Alva, to cancer in 1999, then met Peggi in a hospice-sponsored grief support group and was blessed with a second beautiful marriage and blended family. A lover of history and a dedicated Sudoku solver, Fred had a passion for recycling – anything and everything. His retirement years were spent traveling, volunteering with his local aging council driving seniors to medical appointments and cheering on his beloved Boston sports teams with friends and family. Fred is survived by his wife, Peggi Murchison Cohen; son, Seth Cohen, and wife, Kimberly; daughter, Emily Cohen, and husband, Michael Orff; stepson, Bob Murchison, and wife, Alison; stepdaughters, Lori Murchison Chervin and husband, Brad; and Debbi Marshall and husband, Todd; brother, Sheldon Cohen, and wife Gaby; sister-in-law, Annie Green and husband, Leon. He was predeceased by first wife, Alva (Gillvan) Cohen and parents, Harry and Esther Cohen. Fred was a beloved Papa to Aiden and Abby Cohen, Wyatt Orff, Gabe and John Murchison, Eliana Chervin, the late Jon-Alec Chervin, Collin and Kyla Marshall. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to The Jon-Alec Fund (, or send a check to 112 Calico Lane, Fairfield, CT 06824), or to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program at the New England Center & Home for Veterans ( A private family funeral service will be held. You are cordially invited to participate virtually via this link on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1pm. Burial will be private. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Levine Chapels, Brookline 617-277-8300

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Boston Globe from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, 2020.
Funeral service
01:00 PM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
16 entries
November 29, 2020
We were saddened to hear that Fred had died. While we lost touch as our families grew and changed, we will always have our memories with Fred, Alva, Emily and Seth and our holiday family dinners, vacations and life milestones. To everyone in Fred’s life now, our deepest sympathy for your loss.

Bob & Nita D’Innocenzo, old neighbors and friends.
Bob & Nita D’Innocenzo
November 24, 2020
Fred hired me to work at Out of Town News back in the early 80s. I have great memories of working with him and learned a lot from him over the years! He had a perfect temperament for working in such a fast-paced and busy place and kept everything running smoothly! I remember him as a very nice, sweet man!!
Laura Shuford Welch
November 22, 2020
I remember Fred as a wonderful and sweet man , unfortunately I hadn’t seen him for many years though he was in my thoughts and memories from our past childhood . I wish his family all my heart felt sympathy and love!!!
David Siegel
November 22, 2020
Cluster of 50 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Gabriele I Cohen
November 22, 2020
Long time friend, he shared the lives of so many. A loss to all of us.
He will be missed. My condolences to Peggi and the entire Cohen family.
Ann and Gerry Nimberg
November 22, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Gerald nimberg
November 22, 2020
Fred was the brother I never had. Words cannot do justice how much I and my family loved him and will miss him. He was a man of strength and character , always there with a smile , always willing to help those in need.
The mold has been broken, It is hard to find the likes of Fred, he was not of the "ME" generation. Rest
in peace my dearest friend.
Jack Bennett
November 22, 2020
Who didn't know Fred? He recognized me at out of town which I went to 100s of times. I was Boston Latin 59. He was always gracious and welcoming. A truly nice person.
Kenneth Freed
November 22, 2020
When I received this sad news, the first word that came to mind was "mensch", a term that is also used by Bob Ernest in these notes of condolence. Although we lost touch over the years, I'll always have fond remembrances of the many enjoyable hours that Fred and I spent at B.U. many years ago. He had a special ability to interact with everyone in a most attracting and personable manner. Such a sad event reminds us how important it is to cherish the relationships we develop over the years. They provide us with the blessings of life.
Michael Conn
November 21, 2020
Loving Light Dishgarden
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Kimberly Harrell
November 21, 2020
Peggi, when you first introduced us to Fred, we knew he was a special person. He won your heart and ours as well. I am so sorry for your loss. You understand the we and now the I. He was always so thoughtful and a real gentleman. He will be missed.
Patricia Cohen
November 20, 2020
We will always remember Fred for his kind and pleasant attitude toward everyone.
Ron & Madeline Holt
November 20, 2020
Fred was a member of a very close group of guys that stayed very close for over 60 years, the Sabres. We are still close and hearing of Fred's death hit all of us very hard.
My best description of Fred is that he was a mensch, more than a gentleman but a friend to all, caring for all around him. Because of who he was, we will all miss his smile, his words and his wisdom.
May his memory be a blessing to all who new him
Bob Ernest
November 20, 2020
To the Cohen Family:

Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Fred was a great guy and friend. His smile and the wonderful way he had with people would put a smile on your face and make you feel better. I have such fond memories with my family and Fred, Sheldon, Out of Town and The Square.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan
November 20, 2020
I am so sorry to hear about the families loss of one of their loved one.May the families hearts ♥ be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times the family shared together with the dear loved one lost in death.As the families cherished a wonderful life that was well lived and loved by families and friends during this difficult time of deep sorrow and pain.
November 19, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Cohen family on Fred's passing.
David Jacobs
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences