Dorothy Feldman Cohen, 94, sits on a high-backed purple chair in her living room. A regal repository of Denver Jewish history, she politely dismisses the spotlight enveloping her this morning.
I didnt think this would be about me, she says, an infectious burst of laughter elevating her gravelly voice a few registers.
Dorothy has always been identified with Feldman Mortuary, a family legacy she inherited, perpetuated and personifies.
Turn the spotlight on her, and Feldman catches the light for the Jewish mortuary has defined this slight- of-stature mother, grandmother and great-grandmother for the majority of her life.
Dorothys father Sam Feldman established the business in 1936.
Aaron Cohen, her husband, assumed control after Sams death in 1937 and ran it for 41 years.
Her son Steve Cohen took over in 1980 and held the directorship for 25 years.
Today, Dorothys grandson Jim Cohen is at the helm.
People invariably link Dorothy to Feldman even now. A lady where I live just said to me, Oh, Feldman was busy this week!
The connection has stuck with Dorothy through childhood, marriage and the decades that followed.
It wasnt like Feldman and my mar- riage were two separate things, she
says. Feldman was part of our home. It was a family affair, and we all worked together. Aaron and I were proud that we were doing something for the com- munity.
Dorothys recall and retention are extraordinary. Animated anecdotes sur- face like peaches ripe for the picking. Rarely does the passage of time con- sume a specific date or event.
As her words roll like modest yet implacable waters, one gets the sense that Dorothy Cohen always valued her inner worth and communal responsibility.
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