Judge Bernard Cohen, Judge of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, District Court Department, Brockton Division.
Entered into rest October 17, 2013 at the age of 91. Beloved husband of Margaret (Sheehan) Cohen.
Dear son of the late David and Pauline (Gollub) Cohen. Loving brother of Lillian C. Levine and the late Ethyle L. Leventhal.
He was educated at Brockton High School, Boston University College of Business Administration, Princeton University and Boston University School of Law. He opened his law office in 1949 in Brockton, starting as a general practitioner. Shortly thereafter he began to concentrate his practice on Worker's Compensation and Personal Injury Law. He and his sister, Atty. Lillian C. Levin were pioneers in the field of asbestos litigation.
He was a member of the Supreme of the Massachusetts Bar, Federal Bar and Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was also a member of the Plymouth County Bar Association. He was a member of the Mass Judges Conference and also a member of the American Judges Association. He was appointed by Governor King to the Advisory Board on Legislative, Judicial and Constitutional Officers Compensation (Blue Ribbon Commission). Many of the recommendations of the Advisory Board were passed by the Legislature and became the law of the Commonwealth. Some significant recommendations were pay raises for members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. A significant
recommendation that was enacted into law was equal pay for all Judges of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth.
Judge Cohen is a veteran of World War II and served overseas in the l04th Infantry Division (Timberwolf Division) in the battles and campaigns of Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe.
He was appointed a Judge in June of 1973 by Governor Francis X. Sargent. On his appointment to the bench, a Brockton newspaper noted: "Judge Cohen: as a friend of the working man and woman you have no equal either in compassion or intelligent concern. In the long history of a working-class city like Brockton, that will be enough to earn you a special place of distinction."
His parents, David B. and Pauline Cohen, were the proprietors of a small grocery store at the corner of Wyman and North Main Street for many years. Cohen stated: "A truly memorable and significant day for me was the dedication of Belair Towers in memory of my parents. The building, located in Brockton, contains 269 units for the elderly and the handicapped.
Cohen's honors include: An honorary doctor of Jurisprudence (LID.) awarded by the New England School of Law. In his presentation of this award, the late Judge James R. Lawton, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the school, said of Cohen: "His Civic and charitable endeavors as well as his tireless efforts on behalf of improving the lot of the working man and woman in our Commonwealth, as well as bringing new purposes and meaning to the practice of law, are the reasons that he has been elected to receive an honorary doctorate." Boston University School of Law Alumni Association's Silver Shingle Award "for Distinguished service to the legal profession." Massasoit Community College's Distinguished Service Award, Greater Brockton Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Certification of Appreciation for generous efforts and spirit of cooperation to organize labor.
He was a former member of the Advisory Board of the Brockton Art Museum-Fuller Memorial and a supporter of and a life member of the Executive Committee of Boston University School of Law Alumni Association.
His community activities include the following: former Chairman of the Citizen's Committee of Urban Renewal of the City of Brockton, former Chairman of Brockton Redevelopment Authority, former Chairman of the Brockton Citizen's Advisory Committee, past President of the Brockton Family Service Association, the first President of the Brockton Branch of the N.A.A.C.P, former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pilgrim Foundation, and member of Stonehill College Century Club.
Bernard Cohen was elected a delegate to many Massachusetts Democratic State Conventions (including the convention that nominated Senator Ted Kennedy to the Senate) and has been an elected delegate to two National Democratic Conventions.
SERVICES WILL BE HELD AT STANETSKY MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 475 WASHINGTON STREET, CANTON, MA ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 AT 11:00 AM.
INTERMENT AT SHARON MEMORIAL PARK.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, EXPRESSIONS OF SYMPATHY IN HIS MEMORY MAY BE MADE TO AMERICAN PARKINSON DISEASE ASSOCIATION MASSACHUSETTS CHAPTER, 72 EAST CONCORD STREET, C3, BOSTON, MA 02118.