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Pincus Cohen

Passed away on June 17, 2023 at age 96. He was predeceased by the love of his life for over 73 years, Gloria Cohen; “son”, Bruce Newman. He is survived by his children, Alan Cohen and Nancy Bloom, and Helene Newman; grandchildren, Joy and Jonathan Getnick, Eric Newman and Ben Burford, Sam Newman and Pini Zomer; Saul Cohen and Sarita Cohen; great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Noam Getnick.

Pincus was an educator with the Rochester City School District, retiring as the Principal of Franklin High School. He loved his family, he served his country, and he served his community.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, June 19th at 1PM in the Sanctuary of Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South. The services will be livestreamed for those unable to attend, please CLICK HERE to view the livestream of the services.  Interment to follow at the Stone Road Cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Monday, June 19th from 4PM – 6PM at Temple Beth El, 139 Winton Road South.

Contributions may be made to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, 255 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14604 (Donate Online), Jewish Senior Life Foundation, 2021 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY 14618 (Donate Online) or to a Local Charity dedicated to the Health and Welfare of our Community’s Children.


Tribute from daughter, Helene Newman:

My father lived a long, inspiring, significant, joyful, and grateful life. He modeled the best in who we might be.

When I started high school, he became the principal of Benjamin Franklin High School in the city, his and our mom’s alma mater. When his appointment was announced, a University of Rochester professor wrote this about him, for publication in the newspaper:

“I knew he had his feet on solid terra firma, one who could preserve a calm mind in times of stress. He was also a sterling character, ready to hold a steady, dependable hand to the wheel of life.”

Many times he came home for an early dinner, shared his day, and then returned to school for an event.  I marveled at how he saw every student through crystal clear lenses, and the future of each through rose-colored glasses. He was endlessly optimistic then, and throughout his life.  He said that one must be, to be an educator, especially because the trouble with common sense is that it isn’t too common.

Dad influenced a great many lives, not just ours. In 1977, the graduating class dedicated the yearbook to him. I quote, in part:

“The Class of 1977 takes pride in dedicating this year’s Key to the individual who most epitomizes its slogan, “Movin’ On Up.” That slogan reminds us of the words of Emerson when he wrote “Hitch your wagon to a star.” This year’s Key is dedicated to one who, indeed, constantly reaches for the stars of perfection for Benjamin Franklin High School, its faculty, its staff, and its students. He is an individual who strives all day, every day to instill in each of us the desire to reach inside of ourselves and to utilize the best that we find there. He has truly inspired us…”

He occasionally told me that when his time came, he hoped we wouldn’t mourn, but that we would tell some stories. He left us with many. A personal favorite is the weekend he met his head custodian at school, and they spent the weekend going from room to room, painting every piece of portable AV equipment a notable shade of chartreuse. Miraculously, the theft of equipment simply ceased. Everyone in the neighborhood would have known where that boombox came from. He was very resourceful and had a marvelous sense of humor, and I can only imagine his delight in the expressions on faces that Monday morning. One day more recently, he described how one of his dining companions complained at length about the meal, and then proceeded to eat, in his words, “everything except the pattern off the plate.”

He loved music, spaghetti Westerns, tutoring Spanish, traveling, teaching safe driving for AARP, gadgets of all kinds, and timepieces.  Mom would sometimes roll her eyes at the multitude of dings and bongs and bird chirps from the array of clocks on the walls.

He was quite a writer, and he wrote many letters: to us, expressing his love, to his grandchildren in college, to friends, to restaurants, to companies… He wrote in block letters, increasingly all caps, hoping it would be legible. He often received letters in return, some with coupons for free products or meals. I still have some organic dates he got for free with the coupons he received just this winter.  In recent years he began to write his memoirs and stories about the people he loved so much – us, and our Cohen family. These will be a lasting gift.

He was ever aware of what he had, his glass was very full. He was grateful every day of his nearly nine years at The Summit that he was able to live in such a beautiful place, with its sense of community, its many activities, and the Jewish culture he treasured. He cared about the young adults who served his meals, and were striving to improve themselves with the money they earned. He regularly filled out the comment cards with words of praise. He taught us to notice and value and acknowledge the contributions of everyone in every setting.

Dad sought to be worth knowing; he did not expect to become well-known. He was both, in great measure. Thank you for honoring him and my family, by your presence here today.


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