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Milton H. Cohen


1921 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Milton H. Cohen Obituary
March 19, 1921 - March 11, 2016 Milton Cohen was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 19, 1921, the eldest child of William and Rose Cohen. He attended Samuel J. Tilden High School and Brooklyn College. Milton fell in love with Muriel Eichel and they were married on January 1, 1944. The couple migrated to Los Angeles in 1948 with their young son, Fred. The young family settled in the San Fernando Valley and, there, son Robert and daughter Debbie were born. A superb salesman, Milt bought Santa Monica's Wiener's Luggage, Inc. in 1958, refining the venerable business's reputation and tag-line "Quality sales and service since 1924" and eventually expanded the retail business to four successful stores and a luggage repair business that served the public and multiple airline carriers. Milt also became a leader in his industry, helping to found the American Luggage Dealers Association and serving as its 3rd President. Milt's lifelong civic and charitable volunteerism led him to become chairman of the L.A. Jewish Welfare Fund, the President of the Bay Cities Jewish Community and the first President of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, Western Region. Milt also pioneered the Kosher "Meals on Wheels Program" in Santa Monica, which later became a nationwide organization. While chairman of the L.A. Jewish Community Relations Committee, he brought attention to the ongoing anti-Semitism in Poland and the Soviet Union, receiving personal letters of support from Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Reagan, and Senators Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey. For Milton's community efforts, he received the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews and a Mayoral Proclamation of Commendation from the City of Santa Monica. Milt also raised $250,000 from the luggage industry for the City of Hope's new hospital, and the organization honored him with the "Spirit of Life" award, creating the Milton H. Cohen Research Fellowship. Milton Cohen continued his community work in retirement as well. He became President of Rishon B'nai B'rith and Chairman of the ADL in Southern California, also remaining on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation for many years as well. Throughout his life, Milton cherished family and was a devoted son, brother, father, and grandfather. He was also blessed to find love three times in his life and he traveled the world with them. Milt also passionately loved the Dodgers, who he joked had followed him out west because they couldn't live without him. He also was a great UCLA Bruins and Lakers fan. He is predeceased by his first two loves: his wife of 53 years, Muriel, and his second bride of seven years, Gloria. Milton Cohen is survived by and celebrated by his three children, Fred (Heidi), Robert (Diane), and Debbie (Barry), as well as 6 grandchildren: Melissa, Adam (Emma), Jeremy, Emily, Ryan, and Caitlin, and also Milt's "Malkale" of the last 11 years, Regina Bell. The family wants to give special thanks to Dr. Isaac Adatto, Milt's physician and friend for almost thirty years. We also want to thank Milt's caregivers and companions during the last four years of his life, Tess and Amie, as well as the staff at the Jewish Home for the Aging, who were so compassionate and caring to the end. Funeral services will be held Friday, March 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM at Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Mortuary, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Hollywood Hills, CA 90068. Website: www.mountsinaiparks.org. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Reseda Jewish Home for the Aging or Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge, CA.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 15 to Mar. 16, 2016
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