Ida Epstein Cohen
Ida Epstein Cohen, 93, daughter of Nathan and Frieda Epstein and beloved wife to Samuel for almost 70 years, passed away peacefully on December 9th surrounded by abiding love. She lived a full life as devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend. Ida was born in 1922 in Hartford, spoke Yiddish in the home and proudly lived in the greater Hartford area most of her life.

After graduating from Weaver High School, Ida attended business school where she excelled and later worked as a stenographer. At 20, Ida married Sam, the love of her life. Soon after, they moved to Texas and made lifelong friendships while Sam attended U.S. Army Air Corps Bombardier training prior to his deployment to Italy. After WWII, they lived in the North End of Hartford where her kitchen and home were always open to her children’s friends and extended family.

In 1952, Sam co-founded C & S Distributors, a wholesale building materials distributor and manufacturer. When their children were in school, she brought her business skills to the C & S office. Ida was faithfully and diligently by Sam’s side through all the ups and downs until the business was sold in 2001.

In 1969, Ida and Sam moved to West Hartford and hosted many celebrations, including memorable Thanksgiving dinners for family and friends. Her brownies, kugels and strawberry shortcake were legendary.

Ida had a passion for tennis, UCONN basketball, poker, dancing and loved to sing along with show tunes and Sinatra. She and Sam enjoyed spending time in Boca Raton, Fla., surrounded by family and friends.

They were founding members of Beth Shalom in Hartford and were instrumental in the eventual merger with Beth Hillel Synagogue in Bloomfield. She was a lifelong member of Hadassah. Ida leaves a proud legacy of integrity and generosity to her children and grandchildren.

Living independently into her 90’s in her Blue Back Square apartment, Ida was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. We will always remember her speed walks to Whole Foods with her NYC grocery cart! She showed us how to age with dignity and grace.

Ida is survived by her son Mark, daughter Janice and son-in-law Byron Fisher, daughter-in-law Holly, as well as 9 beloved grandchildren: Jared, Ali and her husband Phil Keane, Ian, Tes, Max, Austin, Nathan, Eli and Nora. In addition to her beloved husband, Ida was pre-deceased by her son Fred and daughter-in-law Adrienne.

Special thanks to Doctors Tom O’Connor and Evan Fox for their loving care of Ida. Deep gratitude to the devoted Hartford Health Care at Home Hospice staff and caregivers Claunice Paesleme and Shoira Khujaeva.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at 11:00am at Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, with lifelong friend Rabbi Philip Lazowski officiating. Internment will follow in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson Street Extension, Avon. Shiva will be observed Sun and Mon evenings from 7-9pm, at 85 Memorial Road, #412, West Hartford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either of the following funds: Fred Cohen Memorial Fund (checks made payable to Hartford Hospital) c/o Hartford Hospital Fund Development, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06012 OR Adrienne Cohen Israel Fund c/o Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation-Emek Shalom, 55 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury, CT 06070.

Arrangements are entrusted to Weinstein Mortuary, Hartford. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Ida, please go to their website at

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