In Memoriam: Dr. William I. Cohen

February 10, 2009

Dr. Cohen was a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician at the UCLID Center LEND, Pittsburgh, PA.  He was also a member of the Society of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics (SDBP).  Bill Cohen, MD, died suddenly Friday morning.  SDBP has set up a portion of their website for people to leave comments and upload photos: leave comments and upload photos.  Below is an excerpt of an email sent from SDBP President Robin Hansen, MD.

Bill Cohen, MD
"Dr. William I. Cohen (Bill), 62, of Pittsburgh, died of a heart attack on February 6, 2009 while in-line skating with friends in Miami, FL. Dr. Cohen was a Developmental -Behavioral Pediatrician at the Child Development Unit and Director of the Down Syndrome Center, both located at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also was a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he directed two courses for undergraduate medical students.

He is survived by his mother Ethel Cohen of Yorktown Heights, NY, brother Alan Cohen of Hoboken, NJ, daughter Sarah Cohen of Los Angeles, CA, son and daughter- in-law Benjamin and Raquel Cohen of Washington D.C. and his partner Donald Arnheim of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cohen's funeral will be at 3pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009 in the Sanctuary of Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Ave., Oakland, followed by a graveside service for family and friends at West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. The family will be receiving in the Aaron Courtyard of Rodef Shalom Temple beginning at 1:30pm. An additional memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at Temple Israel, Northern Westchester, New York at noon. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the National Down Syndrome Society, New York, the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation or Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh. Countless people around the world will miss his generosity of spirit, unwavering support, unconditional love and endless lust for life."  Read the full obituary that appeared in the local Pittsburgh paper on Febuary 9, 2009.

There will also be an additional memorial service at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to pay tribute to Bill's many professional and personal contributions. The time for this service will be announced.

Bill's professional accomplishments tell only part of the picture.  He was a modern day Renaissance Man.  He sang in the Gay Men's choir of Pittsburgh, whose Christmas concert is worth a trip to the 'burgh.  He was an avid roller blader, dominating the hills of Pittsburgh on Friday nights and taking off to Florida and Barcelona to enjoy national and international events.  For those of you who know Pittsburgh, it is not flat and in-line skating in Pittsburgh is not for the faint at heart. He loved to in-line skate with his friends; his passing occurred while he was pursuing his passion.  He knew the reviews of just about every play on Broadway whenever you asked him what you should see while in New York.  He had mastered the best of Weight Watcher's recipes.  We were all particularly fond of the pumpkin mousse at Thanksgiving.  And then, he was an extraordinary friend.  He remembered the details of your life, and of the lives of your loved ones.  He was a terrific listener and a judicious advice giver.  It is amazing to count how many folks considered him a close friend."

Robin L. Hansen, MD
SDBP President