Great Neck South - Class of 1981

GNS HS Alumni Link

Many of you were aware that Jon Cohen had been battling cancer for some time now. We lost Jon this past October 2003. Please remember him in your prayers. The note below is from Jon's Partner Liz......

Sending wishes for a peaceful, joyous new year...

Firstly: i apologize to those of you on this list for whom this missive is repetitive. To those of you for whom this is the first you are hearing, I apologize for how long it has taken to write this...  

Many of you are well aware of the devastating loss we've suffered. Some of you may still not have heard: Jon died in October. He was in no pain, and was surrounded by his family and a couple of dear friends. We held his hand, told him how much we love him, and how we knew he loved us. We told him how much joy, wisdom, magic he brought into our lives, into the world at large.

We played music all day (lots of 'grateful dead) we told him we would always be with him, and he would remain deeply in our hearts. We told him it was okay to let go: he could fly, he could be at peace, he could move on to the next place of learning and adventure. No more struggles.                  

I am so sorry to have to send this sad news. I have been too overwhelmed by grief, and dealing with logistics, and am only now going through Jon's computer to cull email addresses. Aside from the hundreds of people in our immediate community of comrades and family, I knew that there are dozens and dozens of others of you with whom Jon corresponded regularly.

You have all been so wonderful in your love, prayers, gestures and correspondence. If Jon knew anything, without doubt, from the depths of his heart, it was how well loved he was by his community. Thank you each --not only did it give him the strength to continue his fight, but it helped us, his family, to get through the horrible struggle, all the while feeling embraced and supported.... And Jon and I were convinced it's why he had much more time than they said he would.

He and i had 7 beautiful years together. Along with the normal challenges and struggles, and those compounded by illness, each day was filled with sweetness, learning and celebration. i wouldn't trade it for anything--the past 3 1/2 years were indeed tough, and the loss unspeakable, still we had tremendous happiness together. It was a miracle to me, a great romance.

Despite his struggle against cancer, he lived a very rich, happy life. Each day really WAS a gift--he sincerely felt that way. He played, and danced and enjoyed people like it was an art. He lived with tremendous passion, commitment to peace and justice, and the most inspiring devotion to building a world without violence. He was principled and gentle, courageous and wise, thoughtful and funny, generous and loving...while the loss, for us all, is unfathomable, we have all been so lucky to have shared time with him. His soul was mighty, in life, and I imagine, thereafter...I know people will carry his spirit with them in their work for peace, their building of community, in their relationships. The best tribute to Jon's life is to dance, and wage peace and be present and loving to those who are dear to you.

We are having a celebration of his life on Valentines Day, Sat. Feb 14, 2004 at the Brecht Forum (122 W. 27th St, 10th Floor, NYC) at 7pm All are welcome... He wanted a big party!                  

We are hoping to put together a collection of short tributes. If you want to send a written tribute you can email it to me at or mail it to me or to jon's parents:

                  Liz Roberts
                  6c Cresthill Dr.
                  Nyack, NY 10960 


                  Carole and Dick Cohen
                  3 Talbot Dr.
                  Great Neck, NY 11020

Also, since some people have been asking, we put together a short list  of organizations to which you can make donations in jon's memory if you would like. I'll include it below. Again, a million thanks for all of your kindness. We hope to see you in february, and feel free to email. With love and gratitude, Liz

                   The Brecht Forum
                  122 West 27th St. 10th Fl
                  NY, NY 10001                  

                  Jews Against the Occupation
                  Check payable and mailed to:
                  The Brecht Forum
                  122 West 27th St. 10th Fl
                  NY, NY 10001

                  Community Change Project
                  c/o Volunteer Counseling Services
                  77 South Main Street
                  New City, NY 10956

                  War Resisters League
                  339 Lafayette Street
                  New York, NY 10012
                  (212) 228-0450

                  120 Wall Street
                  New York, NY 10005

                  National Marrow Donor Program
                  Suite 500
                  3001 Broadway Street Northeast
                  Minneapolis, MN 55413-1753

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