Sgt. Gerald Cohen USMC

by | Feb 10, 2022 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach—Sgt Gerald Cohen USMC (Ret), also known as Jerry, Dad, or Papa to those that knew and loved him, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2022 at the age of 87 with his family by his side.

With a tough, stubborn exterior, Jerry was a family man at heart. He cared deeply for his wife, his daughters, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren, making it a priority to celebrate life’s big moments with them as the patriarch of the Cohen family.

He is preceded in death by parents Abraham and Celia Cohen, his first wife, Rosemarie A Cohen, and step-daughter Deborah Rorer.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marjorie Cohen, daughter Sharon Wheeler and son-in-law Rick, daughter Michele Prewitt and son-in-law Tom, and stepsons David Cundiff and Billy Cundiff and step-daughter-in-law Janine. He is also survived by his siblings Irving Camiel, Claire Bentley and Myrna Welkovich.

He was extraordinarily proud of his grandchildren, Christopher Prewitt, Jessica Prewitt, Jeff Wheeler, and Kevin Wheeler, as well as his step-grandchildren Buddy Simpson, Shana Leeson, Megan Cundiff, and Dylan Cundiff.

In recent years, his greatest joy was the love and care he had for his great-grandchildren: Piper, Wren, Peyton, Collins and Brooks.

Having served in the Marines from 1952–1972, he retired as a Master Sergeant with a Silver Star, a Presidential Unit Citation for his service in Vietnam, a Meritorious Unit Commendation for his service from 1965–1970, a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, a United Nations Service Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with five bronze stars. He continued to love and serve his community through teaching at the Virginia Beach Tech Center in his retirement. He traveled the world with both Rosemarie and Margie, and loved the Washington Redskins and Boston Red Sox—so much that some would say you saw him at his most impassioned during a game.

The quintessential stoic retired Marine, Jerry softened whenever he talked of his family, of growing up, and of his career both in and out of the Marines. Never too proud to give a great dad joke, a bite of sarcasm, and to ask about what something had to do with the cost of tea in China, he let his guard down in the best way for his family. A former photographer, a former teacher, a Marine—in the end, what mattered most was his family. The titles of “Husband,” “Dad,” and “Papa” were the most important to him.

His graveside service was held at Princess Anne Memorial Park in Virginia Beach. The family requests donations to be made in his name to Wounded Warrior Project.