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Passing of Dr. Joseph Cohen, Former Chairman of the VPF

On June 15, we were sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Joseph Cohen, a former Chairman of the Vancouver Police Foundation.

In addition to being known for his business savvy, Dr. Cohen was dedicated to his community, and especially to the Vancouver Police Department. As Chairman of the VPF for 20 years he worked tirelessly to raise funds to support programs such as the Dog Squad and the Motorcycle Drill Team. He will be sorely missed.

Generously, his family requested that all donations be made to the Vancouver Police Foundation.

COHEN, Dr. Joseph H. C.M., O.B.C., LL.D., OSt.J., Passed away quietly at the age of 89 in his home surrounded by his wife, Frances and children, Lori Cohen (Dr. Barrett Benny), Bruce Cohen, of blessed memory, (Lisa) and grandchildren, Alexander, Richard and Samantha of Winnipeg and Phyllis Cohen Haxby (Julian) and grandchildren, Leon, Beatrix and Henry of London, UK. Joe is survived by his brother, Albert Cohen (Irena) of Winnipeg. He will be missed by all of his nieces and nephews.

Joe was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to an immigrant family of eight, the son of Alexander and Rose (Diamond) Cohen. The brothers, John (Chauncey) Albert, Harry, Morley, Sam and Joe, the youngest, through the ingenuity of strategically placing themselves across Canada from Vancouver to Montreal, were able to build the successful enterprise, General Distributors Ltd., later called Gendis Inc. From its’ humble beginnings, this company introduced everything from candy bars to PaperMate pens across Canada. Joe, who settled in Vancouver, was affectionately called “Mr. Sony” as he and his five brothers introduced Sony to the Canadian public in 1955.

As a man of integrity and great business savvy, Mr. Cohen was best loved for his dedication and generosity to his community and especially to the Vancouver Police Department. It was in his role as the chairman of the Vancouver Police Foundation that he worked tirelessly to raise funds in support of the initiatives of the VPD, including the Dog Squad and the Motorcycle Drill Team.

Joe Cohen was always ready to give a helping hand to whomever needed one. His legacy of generosity was appreciated by all who knew him. Mr. Cohen will be missed by so many people who counted him as their friend.

The family wishes to give special thanks to the caregivers (”his angels”) who cared for him in the last years of his life, Leya, Cora, Gigi, Cecil, Sharon and Armie, and a special thank you to Alice for over 35 years of dedicated service and love.

All are welcome to the service, which will be held at Beth Israel Cemetery, Friday June 17, 2011 at 2pm.

In memory of Mr. Cohen, the family requests that all donations be made to the Vancouver Police Foundation at 2120 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC.

The Vancouver Police Foundation supports programs and initiatives that fall under one of four pillars: Youth Programs, Mental Health & Addictions, Community Outreach & Engagement, and Technology & Special Equipment. You can help build a safer Vancouver by donating to the Vancouver Police Foundation.

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