Judith Jones Cohan

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Judith Jones Cohan
May 18, 1931
November 30, 2020

Portland-Judy Jones Cohan peacefully passed away on November 30,2020 after a period of declining health. Her daughters were by her side.
Born on May 18, 1931 to loving parents Alice and Frederick Jones, Judy spent her childhood in Newton Massachusetts and graduated from Newton High School in 1949. Judy graduated from both Bradford Junior College and Tufts University and worked as a first-grade teacher in the Denver Schools after college. Raised in the Boston area and accompanying her father to Red Sox games as a girl, she was a lifelong baseball fan.

Judy was married to Marshall Cohan on January 7, 1956. They lived in Concord Mass for the first years of marriage until they bought their home in Uxbridge, Massachusetts where they resided for 25 years. Judy and Marshall had two daughters, Martha and Amy. Family was the centerpiece of Judy’s life. A devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother she was ever committed to the well-being and happiness of her daughters and their families. Nothing brought her more joy throughout her life than being surrounded by family.

While family was her focus, she had a strong interest in art, art history and design. She worked for many years as a museum docent at the Worcester Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design and the Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach. She was involved in several entrepreneurial endeavors centered around art and design including a home-based print business. She was a talented maker in her own right, skilled in knitting, quilting, cooking, painting, and gardening. Ever a teacher, she taught her daughters, many grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends the tricks of her numerous trades.

Generosity, kindness, and optimism were Judy’s essential elements. Always one to extend invitations broadly and never arrive empty handed, she was a consummate hostess and loved to bring family and friends together in beautiful surroundings with delicious food. She committed to many charitable causes and activities throughout her life including the American Cancer Society. Able to find the bright side of any situation, Judy lifted the spirits of many with her unfailing optimism.

Judy and Marshall spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard and later in life winters in Florida. Judy brought her strong sense of design to creating beautiful homes and gardens in both locations. She had a strict sense of etiquette and could always be trusted to know the right thing to do. Her etiquette at times puzzled her family when she insisted that even at the most informal meals, ketchup be transferred to a bowl to be served at the table.

Judy’s optimism and resilience were tested when she experienced a serious stroke in 2000. Her courage and persistence in her recovery were inspiring. During this time, she and Marshall demonstrated the strength of their marriage as well. Marshall rose to the role of caretaker and they faced the challenge together, going on to enjoy many years rich in laughter, art, books, travel, friendships, and family.
In 2011, following Marshall’s passing, Judy moved to Portland, Maine. Living her final years close to Amy and family, Judy brought her friendly and generous spirit to her retirement community, making many new friends. Her warmth and kindness endured despite declining health through her bright and loving smile.

Judy is survived by daughters; Martha and Amy, Amy’s husband, Austin Smith, six grandchildren; Emily Hunsaker and her husband Phillip, Spike Lavigne, Marshall Davidson, Norwood Cohan-Smith, Jackson Cohan-Smith and Perry Cohan-Smith and two great grandchildren; Frances and Malcolm Hunsaker. The family wish to thank Birchwood’s Assisted Living and Hospice of Southern Maine for caring for Judy when she needed it most.

A celebration of her life will occur on Martha’s Vineyard in the spring of 2021. For now, we encourage acts of kindness in honor of the great legacy of goodness that Judy leaves including contributions to local arts organizations or the American Cancer Society.

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