Leonard and Eleanor Cohen
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
Leonard and Eleanor (Gurevitch) Cohen celebrated their 50th anniversary with family members and friends at Oakmont Country Club. The festivities included dinner and dancing. They were delighted that so many of the attendees had also been guests of their wedding. A breathtaking bouquet of 50 two-toned roses made a lovely centerpiece, symbolic of their 50 years of marriage. Eleanor said her children did “a superb and elegant job organizing the party.” A high point of the celebration was a slide show of their lives from marriage to present. Their son, Josh, paid special homage to his parents in his toast when he said his and his sister's successful families were because their mother and father taught them how to love.
They met in their early teens at a ballroom dance class taught by Charlotte Goldstein and her husband. Leonard and Eleanor were paired up in class and dated from then on. Charlotte still lives locally and was one of the attendees of the anniversary party. They became engaged when Eleanor was 17 and Leonard was 19. On their first date, they went to Morton's in Kenwood for an afternoon of swimming.
After dating for six years, they were married on Aug. 25, 1962, at the Saturday Afternoon Club in Santa Rosa.
Eleanor was born in Berkeley and raised in Santa Rosa. Leonard hailed from Staten Island, N.Y., and was raised in Petaluma. While engaged, they both attended Santa Rosa Junior College and San Francisco State University. Their children were raised in Fremont, but after they left the nest, Eleanor and Leonard resided in several cities in the Bay Area. In 2005, they returned to Santa Rosa and built their retirement home on Eleanor's family ranch next door to the home in which Eleanor's mother, Evelyn, still resides.
Eleanor's brother, Russ, and his wife, Terry, also live close by.
Leonard completed his service in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1965. He worked as a middle school physical education department head and coach; taught at several junior colleges in the Bay Area; and worked at several different positions in the mortgage industry. Eleanor was a lay cantor in her congregation; and an officer in the savings and loan, mortgage and home construction industries. They both semiretired in 2005, but still keep active in the business world. Leonard currently teaches driver education part-time.
Eleanor works part-time for the nonprofit organization Remember Us (remember- us.org), “a program that offers an invitation to children preparing for bar/bat mitzvah to connect with the memory of children lost in the Holocaust before they could be called to the Torah.”
Both are active members of Congregation Shomrei Torah and Congregation Beth Ami. Leonard is a water-color artist and also plays golf “any time he can.”
They have done extensive travel including the following destinations: cruises to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico; throughout the U.S.; a memorable trip to Israel, with family, to meet members of the family thought lost since World War II; and trips to England (particularly when their daughter and family lived in London); and to France.
Family members include: son, Josh, and his partner, Dr. Ralph DiLisio, of Santa Rosa; daughter, Naomi Morgan, and her husband, Chris, of Reno, Nev.
They have two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Their advice for a long and happy marriage is, “Always sharing and being involved in both the joys and responsibilities of our lives; keeping family close and primary in our lives; maintaining our individuality; and loving unconditionally.”
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