Lita Stecker Sands Kohn, 95, passed away Oct. 6, 2020, at her family’s farm in Arizona that she helped build. Born in 1925 to Natalie Krohn Stecker and Samuel Stecker, she grew up in Cleveland Heights.
A joyful, loving and intelligent mother, a compassionate friend, Lita strongly supported the enthusiasms of her friends and loved ones. She was cherished for her wisdom and her effervescence, and her dedication to helping others. She was a strong supporter and booster, and made those around her always feel welcomed, and always warmed in her light.
Lita was passionate about music, and in the late 1940s, she sang professionally on Cleveland Radio station WTAM, starring in her own show under the name of Lita James. She was accompanied by members of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and the very popular show was broadcast live nationally every morning. Until the 1990s, she sang contralto with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Cleveland area Choirs.
For 30 years Lita taught English at Lakeland Community College, continuing her mentoring long after retirement. Lita mentored hundreds of students. For over twenty years she was President of the Board of the Validation Training Institute. She promoted their mission of helping loved ones communicate to relieve the stress of those in cognitive decline. During those thirty years, Lita split her time between living in Shaker Heights and at her home on the farm in Arizona. She was devoted to helping others while developing deep friendships in the process.
In 2014, she moved to Arizona permanently.
Lita was the widow of Frederick Sands (deceased, 1952) and her second marriage was to Allan Kohn (deceased, 1986). Lita is survived by her three children, Jill Sands of Sedona, Ariz., Robin Hoult of Chino Valley, Ariz., and Jon Kohn of Billings, Mont.; and her adored grandchildren, Kelsey Hoult, Heather Hoult Bamberg, Samuel Kohn and Jessica Kohn; and great-grandchildren Helena, Lindy and Ansel.
Her family thanks all of her many devoted companions and caregivers who helped Lita maintain her cheerful nature and her zest for life, for her final years.