Marshall Cohen, known to Friends as Mickey, passed away on August 31, 2014 at the age of 78. He had been a treasured, humorous member of Marloma Long Beach Monthly Meeting for 21 years and the Treasurer for many of those years. In addition, he was active in the Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Friends Committee on Legislation.
Mickey was born June 10, 1936, and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in a neighborhood that he described as rather rough. Occasionally fights broke out among the pupils, turning into brawls. Not wanting to fight, Mickey found a boy who felt the same way. They agreed to find each other whenever a fight started and to roll around on the ground, pretending to fight. Thus his pacifism and pragmatism were evident at a very young age.
Mickey became an engineer with considerable experience in military settings, designing and eventually signing off on aircraft. After college he went into the U.S. Navy for five years. After several years working for McDonnell Aircraft and a stint with Norfolk & Southern Railroad, he became employed by the U.S. Army. He worked later for the U.S. Air Force and finally the Department of Defense, examining and signing off on C 17 airplanes. He worked well into his 70s before he retired.
In 1976 he married his beloved wife, Marjorie, known to us as Marj, beginning a marriage that lasted 29 years. The two of them were very devoted to each other. Marj suffered from severe allergies, but Mickey was always there for her. His humanity was often expressed in quiet comments: “We depend on the kindness of strangers.” “We all do the best we can.”
Following Marj’s death, Mickey made it his mission to assure that her grandchildren knew about her. He had no close relatives, and she had not been close with some of her relatives. Mickey took it upon himself to contact her family members with information and stories about Marj. After a time he sent books and other meaningful items as he responded to the family’s needs, contributing to their education and the like. He was eventually invited to join them for Thanksgiving in Denver. For this first meeting, he chose to drive alone through snow to the high-altitude city. Once was enough; for future trips he flew. We received updates as he built a family for himself through his concern that Marj not be forgotten. It was not without a hiccup or two, but he certainly left them memories not only of Marj but of his caring presence.
He also left many fond memories in Marloma Long Beach Monthly Meeting.