Joan Elaine Cohen
Joan Elaine Cohen, 85, of Glen Rock, NJ, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on August 28 after a long illness that followed a life of love and accomplishment. She and her husband lived in Glen Rock for 47 years. Many residents of Glen Rock — and anyone who frequented the bike path of the County Park — will remember Joan and her husband taking their daily five-mile walk, something they did together for more than 20 years.
Joan was born in The Bronx to Louis and Ida Plotkin, who were brought to America as infants in the early 1900s from Russia. As a child, she danced ballet and played the piano, developing a love of theater and music that she would later pass on to her children. She also studied the violin as an adult. After graduating at the top of her high school class, she earned a degree in education cum laude from The City College of New York. Although she loved biology and showed great promise, as a child of the Depression she was encouraged by her family to seek a more secure position as a school teacher. She taught young children in a challenging part of The Bronx before starting her family.
As her children grew, Joan was very involved in their school systems, taking leadership roles in the Parent-Teacher Association of their Bronx elementary school and then as president of the Glen Rock Home and School Association. She also worked to replace outdated school textbooks with versions that were more representative of the children who would be using them.
Joan was a member of the sisterhoods of the Glen Rock Jewish Center and Temple Israel of Ridgewood. A life member of Hadassah, she also belonged to the Organization for Research through Training (ORT) and the National Council of Jewish Women. Joan returned to the workforce as a realtor and then processing manager at Weichert Realtors in Glen Rock for 18 years. She was a terrific mahjong player, who taught her daughter and her friends to play, passing her love of the game to another generation. Joan also played tennis for years and had artistic ability, likely inherited from her mother.
She always made sure her children and grandchildren always had books and access to music and other art forms. She loved live performance, passing this passion to her children, who later passed it on to her grandchildren. Her family will miss her deeply.
Joan is survived by her beloved husband of 62 years, Irving, her son David and daughter-in-law Hana, her daughter Julie and son-in-law Rick Sloma, and her son Rob. She is also survived by her treasured grandchildren, Joshua Druckerman and his wife Kelly Weiner, Matan Cohen and his wife Dori, Adir Cohen and his fiancée Britt Yudell, Sam Druckerman and Ben Cohen. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Elliott and Bernice Plotkin, and their family.
Funeral services will be held at Robert Schoem's Menorah Chapel in Paramus, NJ, on Thursday, August 30, at 11 am, followed by burial at New Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus.
Joan's family especially appreciates the many services provided by all the staff of The Jewish Home at Rockleigh, who took such wonderful care of her and provided heartfelt support during this very difficult time. We offer special thanks to the hospice unit of the Visiting Nurse Association of Englewood, whose dedicated professionals cared for Joan in her final months.