Frances Smith Cohen
Frances Smith Cohen, wife, mother, teacher, dancer and choreographer, died peacefully surrounded by family on May 14, 2019, from complications following a heart attack. She is survived by her brother Jack; children Sam, Jeffrey and Rachel; grandchildren Andrea, Eliana and Jeremy; and dog Einstein.
Frances Smith Cohen was a graduate from Tucson High School and Bennington College in Vermont. She moved to Tucson in the 1930s from Elizabeth, New Jersey, and lived in Tucson, the Washington, D.C. metro-area twice, and Phoenix.
She served as the dance director at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for 18 years, and directed the first touring dance company in Arizona, the Kadimah Dancers. In 1963 Frances helped create the Arizona Dance Arts Alliance, and in 1972 she co-founded the dance program at the University of Arizona.
Frances served as the director of opera at George Washington University from 1981 to 1986, and was the recipient of a National Opera Institute grant where she toured regional opera companies as a choreographer and assistant director. Frances began Wolf Trap in Arizona, which places performing artists in Head Start classrooms, and has served as the regional director for this program since 1986. Frances was the artistic director of Center Dance Ensemble — the resident dance company at Herberger Theater Center. Working with Susan Silverman, she also created Dance Theater West in Phoenix — the academy of Center Dance Ensemble and Story Book Ballet Theater. Frances was honored with the Outstanding Artist Fellowship Award for Choreography from the Maryland State Arts Council, and is the proud recipient of the 1994 Arizona Governor’s Outstanding Artist Award, the 2004 Women Who Care Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2010 Childsplay’s Pied Piper Award for her contributions to arts education.She was one of only 10 recipients to receive the Arizona Cultural Keepers Award in celebration of Arizona’s 100th birthday. Frances Smith Cohen was co-author of “Dance Essential Skills” and “Performing Dance Standards” for the Arizona Department of Education.
Frances and late husband Marvin were both honored with many accolades for their involvement, support and growth of the arts over the course of their lives. In that spirit, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, friends donate to their favorite performing arts organization in memory of Frances Cohen. A memorial will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.
Harriet A. Klein
Harriet A. (née Berney) Klein was released from her long battle against pain around 9 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at Sherman Home Hospice of the Valley, surrounded by loving family. Harriet’s living legacy includes her six children, a niece and nephew, 12 grandchildren, four grandnephews/nieces and 11 great-grandchildren. Her lasting legacy lies in her loving work with young children, first at Temple Beth Israel’s preschool, then at her own preschool, The Growing Tree, where hundreds of children and their families were nurtured and supported. She was buried on June 3, 2019, at Beth Israel Cemetery.
Harriet follows her husband of 58 years, Richard Lewis Klein, who passed in 2012. They married in 1955 and raised a family of six children: Terry Klein (Sheila Irom); Sabrina Klein (Thomas Clement); Elizabeth Klein; Bradley Klein (Lise Smith); Janet Klein Gordon (Alan Gordon); and Bart Klein (Dana Knox). They also played a key role in the lives of their nephew, Kurt Berney (Deanna Wong), and niece, Michelle Berney (Steven Millman). Their grandchildren: Jason Klein; Stefanie and Michaela Gordon and Alisa Rowan; Alexandra and Max Klein; Jacob Klein, Shayla Dozier Groves and Trent Dozier; Faige Bander and Shimmon Klein; and Christopher Clement. Their grandchildren are joined in Harriet’s legacy with her grandnieces and nephews: Hershel, Jeremy and Leah Millman, and Tessa Berney.
Harriet will best be remembered as a fiercely independent and lovingly generous human being for whom family and loved ones always came first. She touched dozens of families through her work with children for over 25 years. Her stubborn will won out for many years over challenging health conditions, and in spite of constant pain, her quick smile never failed to light up when a child stepped up for a hug. The words "I love you" were never far from her heart or her mouth. Wherever she journeys next, many "I love yous" accompany her.
Memorial in her memory may be made to ICM Food and Clothing Bank or Hospice of the Valley. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.
Lois Levine passed away on May 29, peacefully, after a long illness. She was surrounded by her husband, Bernie (29 years), and her son, Jordan. She is survived by her son, Jordan Klein; husband Bernie; stepdaughters Randie Stein (Lee) and Melissa Levine (Lisa Byrnes); grandchildren Alex and Elizabeth Stein, and Josh and Jeremy Levine. She is predeceased by her parents, Henry and Eunice Nathanson, and her brother, Gerald Nathanson.
Lois was born in Chicago on February 27, 1940 and maintained many ties to her hometown. As the creator and director of the ’69 Chicago Cubs Spring Training Camp for Men 35 and Older she made many trips to Scottsdale and fell in love with it. She moved to Arizona in 1984, where she continued to work in media relations. The crown of her career was as Marketing Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. She retired in 1990 and enjoyed traveling, cooking and physical fitness. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Services were held at Temple Kol Ami, Scottsdale, Sunday June 2, followed by interment at Mt. Sinai Cemetery. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.
Donations in Lois’ honor can be made to Hospice of the Valley, the American Cancer Society or Temple Kol Ami.
David and Sharlene Weinberg
David and Sharlene Weinberg On July 19, 1934, we were blessed with the birth of David Weinberg and on June 1, 2019, we are sorrowed at his passing. David and Sharlene (Shar) were married on May 29, 1955, and were inseparable and totally in love with each other. They were the perfect couple and anyone could see and feel the love by talking or being with them. Sadly, Shar passed on May 28, 2019, and her burial was May 31, 2019. Knowing his three sons and all loved ones were here and well taken care of, David was reunited with Shar on June 1, 2019. They spent 64 years in loving wedlock and will now spend eternity with each other in loving joy.
They are survived by three sons, Larry, Steven and Marc, each with wives or significant others; sister Lenore; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and a third on the way.
Donations in David and Sharlene’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. alz.org/get-involved-now/donate. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.
On Friday, May 24, 2019, Magda Willinger, passed away just short of 91 years of age.
Magda was born in Czechoslovakia to Shirley and Solomon Weisberger on June 1, 1928. In July 1946, Magda and her beloved mother immigrated to the United States and began their new life in Chicago. In June 1948, she married Ernest Willinger and they raised their daughters, Judith and Donne. In 1958, the entire family moved “way out west” to Phoenix and never looked back.
Magda and her mother, Shirley, were survivors of the Holocaust. Magda’s two younger sisters, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents and too many more family members and friends to mention did not survive the Holocaust. In spite of such hardship, Magda became an excellent wife, mother and helpmate to any who needed her. My mother had a big heart and never said no. In my mother’s later years she became a speaker — a rememberer of the Holocaust. She spoke at many schools and made lasting impressions upon the students. Magda loved Israeli folk, dancing, entertaining and traveling to Israel.
Magda was preceded in death by her dear mother, Shirley Lebovitz; doting husband, Ernest Willinger; and all the others who perished. She is survived by her daughter Judith Kelly, granddaughter Erin Richardson, her husband Damon Richardson and great-grandsons Sebastian and Alexander Richardson; her daughter Donne Goldstein, Donne’s husband Glenn Goldstein, grandson Jared Goldstein, great-granddaughters Samantha and Kaitlyn Goldstein as well as grandson Ryan Goldstein, his wife Adri Anna and great-granddaughters Gianna and Audrey Goldstein. Magda is also survived by her brother Dr. Sheldon Lebovitz, his wife Robyn, their children Benjamin, Michael and Jonathon Marcelyn, and their families; and by cousins Sandra Kraus and family, Shraga Agam and family and several other cousins ranging far and wide in this country and Israel.
Funeral services were held Sunday, May 26, 2019, at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary