Mardele L. Cohen, born Dec. 31, 1949, in Cleveland, to the late Claire
and Carl Cohen, passed peacefully on April 29, 2021. She leaves behind her sisters and niece, Lauri (Karl) Bosshart, Bonnie (Chet) Zajac and Kelsey (Kyle) Baughman. She was a beloved cousin to many in Cleveland, San Francisco, San Diego and across the country.
Mardele dedicated her career to the state of Ohio in government service.
She began with the very first mayoral political campaign for George V. Voinovich and was by his side through his gubernatorial term. In the late 1990s, she returned to Cleveland and served as the communications director for the Ohio Lottery Commission and the NEORSD in community relations. Throughout her career she mentored many and will be remembered for her sharp mind and her take-charge style.
Mardele was a pioneer in her field of public service. She developed and perfected the art of political advance work and event planning. From the president of the United States, to governors, senators and mayors, many elected officials breathed easier knowing that Mardele was behind the scenes, managing the program and staff and keeping everything and everyone moving on time.
In retirement, Mardele continued her public service work as a docent for the Cleveland Museum of Art. Her special way with children was noticed immediately.There are hundreds of Cleveland children who experienced the magic of a museum tour with Miss Mardele, and her imaginative way of explaining pieces and inspiring a love of art.
Mardele had an impeccable eye for art and fashion. Her green thumb is now helping to tend the gardens of heaven. Her skill as a gardener is legendary and her love for all things floral was evident in her final days as she was surrounded by flowers and many contributions of flower pictures, all of which she treasured and enjoyed.
As a native Clevelander, Mardele was a steadfast Browns fan, with some choice words of advice for players and coaches. She loved the Rolling Stones and attended many rock concerts. Her fierce love for the children in her life, made her “Aunt Mardele” to dozens of big and little kids. She loved all animals, especially her little Vera who she took to the doggie beauty shop and walked with around Shaker Square.
Mardele passed knowing how deeply loved and cherished she was by so many friends and dear family near and far. In her last weeks, Mardele was incredibly grateful and overwhelmed for all the texts, cards, letters, emails, notes, flowers, drawings, and thankful to everyone who reached out to her.
Friends who wish may contribute in Mardele’s memory to the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Fund for Education, 11150 East Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44106 (clevelandart.org/join-and-give/support/ memory-and-honor-gifts).