July 12, 1921 - September 26, 2020
Florence Gertrude Wicentowsky Cohen, of Prairie Village, KS passed away 9/26/2020 at the age of 99. Florence had many lifelong friends from work, volunteering, Normandie Court where she lived for 34 years, and especially Beth Shalom and Sisterhood. She loved to make her friends laugh with her quick wit, loved engaging with people and using her interviewing skills to learn about people, their lives and the world. Florence was born July 12, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York to Jacob Wicentowsky (from Tomashev, Poland 1896) and Anna Lidoshore Wicentowsky (from Kishinev, Muldova 1895). Florence grew up in Ellenville, NY, near the Catskills, where her father ran a handkerchief manufacturing company, along with her older sister, Sylvia Wicentowsky Goldstein and younger brother Manny Winston. Always outgoing, Florence loved drama from an early age. She was in the Thespian Club in high school and several years later, hosted a radio show. Florence started her working career as a bookkeeper at Devoe Reynolds Paint Company and Knickerbocker Decal Co. in New York City but the first job she loved was working for the Signal Corps as a Radar Engineer Assistant, from 1941 to 1945. She attended Emerson College for Drama in Boston. Returning home by train from a visit to see her brother, she met her husband Myrl, to whom she was married for 60 years until his death in 2005. She was impressed with his knowledge of literature and poetry, he with her beauty and brains. They moved to Kansas City in 1946 and raised their three children. She took pride in hosting holiday dinners and organizing family picnics. Florence began her lifelong involvement in volunteering, including Driver for the Blind with Council of Jewish Women, Officer and Life Board Member for Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Program Director for the Jewish Community Center School of Jewish Studies, and Editor of the Midwest Branch Sisterhood Bulletin. She taught Sunday School at Beth Shalom for 11 years, and worked for MACREL, Midwest Educational Research Lab. At age 55, she settled into a job that married her love of interviewing and service to people, as a Real Estate Agent at Eugene D Brown, now Reece Nichols, and worked until age 87. After retiring from Reese Nichols, she volunteered at Top Drawer, a shop that supports Kansas City Hospice, where she looked forward to her weekly shift for 8 years beginning at age 88. Florence was a devoted exerciser and healthy eater. She was a regular attendee at the Heritage center exercise classes and enjoyed spa vacations focused on healthy lifestyle. Her other interests were theater and drama classes and occasional matchmaking. She participated in a play reading group at the Heritage Center for many years. Florence was known for waking up at 6 AM to read the entire Kansas City Star and Wall Street Journal newspapers and loved keeping informed watching interview shows. She lived a long and healthy life filled with activities, family and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Myrl A Cohen; sister, Sylvia Goldstein and brother-in-law, David Goldstein; sister-in-law, Elaine Cohen and her parents. She is survived by her three children: Jeffrey Cohen of Kansas City, Clifford Cohen (Paula) of Leawood, and Nancy Cox (Robert) of St Charles, IL; her 3 grandchildren, Hilary Singer (Jeremy), Alison Cohen (Brian Czarski) and Laura Cox; her 3 great grandchildren Lila Singer, Zander Czarski, and Toby Czarski; her brother, Manny Winston and sister-in-law, Lois Winston, and her brother-in-law, Ralph Cohen and sister-in-law, Jan Cohen. A private funeral and burial will be held at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to The Heritage Center at the Jewish Community Center or Kansas City Hospice or JVS.
Florence Gertrude Wicentowsky Cohen, of Prairie Village, KS passed away 9/26/2020 at the age of 99. Florence had many lifelong friends from work, volunteering, Normandie Court where she lived for 34 years, and especially Beth Shalom and Sisterhood.... View Obituary & Service Information
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