Cohen, 96, Middletown business leader, dies

One of Middletown’s most charitable men has died.

Wilbur M. Cohen, who served on numerous boards and led Cohen Brothers Recycling, died Friday. He was 96.

Cohen joined his father and uncle to lead Cohen Brothers into becoming a well-established, growing scrap recycling company. His philanthropic contributions have left a significant legacy in his cherished communities of Middletown and Cincinnati.

Cohen served as president of the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce and Middletown Industrial Council. He was campaign chairman of the board of trustees of the Middletown Area United Way and a member of the committee to establish the Middletown campus of Miami University.

His wife, Mary Jean, who died in 2008, served on the boards of Bull’s Run Arboretum, Hospice of Middletown and the Ladies Auxiliary of Temple Beth Sholom.

In August 2014, the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance honored Cohen with its prestigious Everest Award for his significant positive impact on commerce in the Interstate 75 growth corridor between Cincinnati and Dayton.

He also was honored by the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton with the Richard W. Slagle Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award for his family’s significant contributions to quality of life in the community.

Perhaps nowhere is the Cohen connection stronger than at Atrium Medical Center and Atrium Medical Center Foundation. As a hospital board member, Cohen worked with five hospital presidents. He provided visionary leadership for 42 years, beginning in 1965 when he joined the Middletown Hospital board of directors. As president of the hospital board from 1972 to 1980, he guided the hospital through two periods of significant growth.

He also helped establish what has become Atrium Medical Center Foundation. He was one of the foundation’s first three trustees and served on its board for several terms.

The Cohens were instrumental in founding the hospital’s Wilbur & Mary Jean Cohen Women’s Center, as well as the Linda Cohen Abrams Health and Risk Assessment Center, named in honor of their daughter Linda who died at 47 from heart disease.

He is survived by his second wife, Miriam Warshauer-Coehn; his children Kenneth (Janet) Cohen, Kathy (Bob) Dumes and Neil (Honi) Cohen; grandchildren Andy (Ari) Cohen, Alison (Dave) Moser, Melanie (James) Alexander, Adam (Jen) Dumes, Bradley (Rowena) Dumes, Joel (Jillian) Dumes, Brian (Maggie) Cohen and Jill Cohen, and great-grandchildren Ezra, Zoe, Sasha, Leon and Nora Cohen, Maya and Isaac Moser, Emma Alexander, Jake, Sam, Willow, Evan, Caleb, Alex and Cassidy Dumes and Ava and Ansel Cohen.

Services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Adath Israel Congregation, 3201 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati. Visitation begins at 1:30 p.m. Friends may join the family following the interment for a meal at Adath Israel Congregation. Shiva will be observed at 7 p.m. Monday at Adath Israel Congregation. Memorial contributions are suggested to The Middletown Community Foundation, 300 N. Main St., Middletown, OH 45042 or The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, 8499 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45236.

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