Marilyn Cohen passed away peacefully Oct. 29, 2020, after a long illness.
She is survived by Ronald, her beloved husband of 63 years. Marilyn was the loving mother of Tammy (Harry) Wise, Robbin (Harold) Gross and Heidi (Richard) Solomon. She was the devoted grandmother of Hannah (Ben Ganon) Wise, Ethan and Louiza Wise, Rachel, Michael and Johnny Gross, and Daniel and AJ Solomon. Marilyn was the dear sister of the late Richard Goodman.
Marilyn was born in Cleveland, on May 2, 1936. When she was an infant, her family moved to Chillicothe. She attended University of Wisconsin and the Ohio State University where she was a radiologist. She had a love of teddy bears, and eventually started a business, which she called “Bear In Mind.” She dressed and decorated teddy bears for all occasions (get well, weddings, graduations, etc.). It bothered her that all teddy bears were made overseas until she heard of a small company in New England that made teddy bears and she switched her supplier to that company. She originated two customs which are used nationwide today. She convinced hospitals to keep teddy bears in children’s wards and police cars to carry teddy bears for use when there are young children at the scene of an accident.
She decided she needed to spend more time with her young daughters and gave up her teddy bear business. However, her supplier followed up on her idea and three years later won an award as the fastest growing company in America. That supplier was Vermont Teddy Bear and is still growing. Her next goal was to improve her physical strength. She worked out at a gym and eventually was able to run a mile. She later participated in several 10k runs. Her next accomplishment she called the “Marilyn Marathon.” It involved bicycling 13 miles from her home in Shaker Heights to Hawthorne Valley Country Club in Solon and then back.
When someone she cared about was diagnosed with anorexia, Marilyn became an activist. She formed an anorexia aid society to help others touched by the illness. She was interviewed on the Phil Donahue Show to explain her groundbreaking work.
Private services will be held noon Nov. 1 at Bet Olam Cemetery. Family requests no visitation. Contributions in memory of Marilyn Cohen can be sent to B’nai Jershurun Congregation, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage or the Cohen Community Foundation (1350 Euclid Ave., No. 800, Cleveland, OH 44115).