IN MEMORY OF George Cohen, MD
1927 – 2021
As we approach Thanksgiving, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mentor, role model, and friend — MobileMed co-founder George J. Cohen, MD. Dr. Cohen passed away last week after a long, well-lived life at age 94.
Over 50 years ago, Dr. Cohen, together with his friend and colleague, Dr. Herman (Arnold) Meyersburg, had created a volunteer tutoring program in the Ken-Gar neighborhood of Montgomery County ahead of school desegregation. The two physicians quickly realized that the children’s parents had no way to address their healthcare needs. That experience sparked the formation of MobileMed in 1968.
Dr. Cohen made a difference for thousands of patients.
At our 50th Anniversary gala three years ago, MobileMed’s Immediate Past President Alan Hoffman recalled escorting Dr. Cohen to an event celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Ken-Gar community:
George couldn’t walk more than 10 feet before someone would cry out with recognition, “Dr. Cohen, Dr. Cohen is that you?” Each conversation started with a hug. We were there for several hours and this happened all afternoon. Here’s some of what I heard people say, people who hadn’t seen George in 30 years:
- You took care of my mother. She always talked about you.
- My grandmother was so proud to be able to give back and volunteer at your clinic. [George responded: “Oh, you look just like her!”]
- I will always remember your smile.
- You always were there to listen.
In the Jewish tradition, “May his memory be for a blessing.” For all his humility, George was a great man and hero to many. As his daughter noted this week, George always shrugged off accolades because he always believed you should just do the right thing.
As we consider what’s really important during this holiday season, we will be forever grateful for the life of Dr. Cohen. For the patients he helped. For the volunteers he recruited and supported. For an organization that continues to strive to care for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Dr. Cohen’s memory will live on with his widow, Lenore; his four children Esther (the late Richard Steacy), of Washington, DC, Dan (Angela Sanchez) of Ibiza, Spain; Chip (Karen Kirkman) of Eugene, OR, and John (Kabila Yumba) of Germantown, MD; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Dr. Cohen, thank you for your leadership, vision and steadfast service. We are so fortunate that you were part of our community and our lives. On behalf of MobileMed’s current and former patients, Board members, volunteers, and staff, thank you for making MobileMed part of your lasting legacy.