Leon B. Cohen, 92, psychologist at Philadelphia VA

Leon B. Cohen
Leon B. Cohen
Posted: May 29, 2014

Leon B. Cohen, 92, who earned a Bronze Star in combat during World War II and was a psychologist at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center from 1959 to 1981, died Sunday, May 25, at the retirement community Cadbury at Cherry Hill.

For a time, Dr. Cohen was head of psychological services for the center, a son, Mark, said in a phone interview.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he graduated from the Franklin K. Lane High School there in 1938 and began his college studies at night at Brooklyn College while working during the day.

In 1943, he was drafted into the Army and, a month after D-Day in 1944, landed in France as a litter bearer with a medical unit, working with it all the way to the Elbe River in eastern Germany.

At a place lost to memory, Mark said, his father saw a wounded soldier who was "caught between the lines. He got him and brought him back" to safety, earning the Bronze Star.

Using the GI Bill, he earned a bachelor's in chemistry at Brooklyn College.

Because Dr. Cohen had seen what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by so many World War II soldiers, he decided to focus on psychology and earned his doctorate in 1951 at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Cohen worked at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Topeka, Kan., and at the Menninger Clinic there until 1957, when he transferred briefly to a VA hospital in Brockton, Mass., before beginning his Philadelphia career in 1959.

He wrote papers for several medical journals.

Besides his son Mark, Dr. Cohen is survived by wife Zena, son Phillip, daughter Hilary Stolzenberg, seven grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

A visitation was set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, before a 10:30 a.m. funeral there, with interment in Crescent Memorial Park, Pennsauken.

Donations may be sent to Congregation Beth El, 8000 Main St., Voorhees, N.J. 08043, or to www.uso.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.


 

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