Malkah Cohen, 92, our mom, and wife of 61 years to our dad, the late Dr. Melvin L. Cohen, passed away peacefully at home in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 27, 2020, surrounded by all four of her children and two very special caregivers. Malkah was the daughter of the late Ida and Marcus Rosenthal.
Malkah was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in biology and began working as a medical illustrator and Hebrew School teacher. Malkah was introduced to her future husband, Mel, by one of her students, Dad’s younger sister, Marcia. They married in 1950 and eventually moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1957 where Dr. Melvin Cohen began a career in pediatrics.
Family was Malkah’s first priority. She got tremendous satisfaction being a wife and mother. Her first priority was our father, whom she beamed with pride over during the course of their 61-year marriage and partnership. Together, they left a lasting legacy with their dedication and hard work in pediatrics and Phoenix Children's Hospital – one that made a difference in the lives of so many families in our community. Mom is the reason Dad was able to aim high.
As a mom, she was ALL IN! Mom was our ultimate cheerleader, she gave us the confidence we needed when we wanted to try something new, and the means to go for it. Mom was the smartest of us all … she is who we called for spelling, grammar, punctuation, history and geography questions, along with any trivia question that we needed an immediate answer to. She was our friend, stylist and critic. She was most proud of how close we were as a family, and of all the laughter we had in our house growing up. Malkah Cohen was a formidable life force. She was smart, witty, fun, feisty, strong and opinionated. No time wasted, she got things done!
A loving wife, generous friend, ultimate hostess and amazing mom, her generosity toward others has guided us to do our best to be the same. Malkah will be missed by so many … including her four children, Ellen Harper (Tom), Dr. Joseph Cohen (Julia), Jan Hancock and Tammie Cohen (the late Dewey Stark); her grandchildren, Danny, Chad, Hunter and Taylor (Tommy Mac); her brother Eliezer Rosenthal (Joy); sister-in-law Marcia Solomon (Mel); brother-in-law and sister-in-law, the late Stanford and Jean Cohen; 10 nieces and nephews, including the late Cecil and David Rosenthal, and many dear friends.
Malkah Cohen's family had a private family burial arranged by Sinai Mortuary and Mt. Sinai Cemetery, officiated by Cantor Ross Wolman of Temple Chai.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Malkah Cohen’s memory to: Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2929 E. Camelback Road, Suite 122, Phoenix, AZ 85016, 602-933-4483, or online at GiveToPCH.org; or to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014, 602-530-6992, or online at hov.org/donate.com.