Rosalie Cohn had a passion for helping people, whether it be supporting women’s rights or helping troubled teens, her family members said.
“Her whole life was geared towards helping people,” said her sister, Olga Roth. “She was good at understanding their problems, and she had great insight, and that manifested itself in many ways.”
Rosalie Cohn, 90, of Merrillville, died April 7. She had been owner of Greenwich House antique shop in Miller Beach. She was preceded in death by her husband, Theodore Cohn.
She attended the University of Iowa for three years, where she played drums in the marching band. A first-generation American, Cohn inherited her Macedonian parents’ strong work ethic, said her son, Kim Cohn.
“They came here penniless, and with work ethic and drive, they succeeded,” he said. “She definitely had a tough work ethic and was devoted and dedicated.”
She was a champion for women’s rights, and she founded shelters for abused women in Gary. She also started a teen club called Hullabaloo in Miller, where teens had a safe place to go on the weekends.
Cohn worked with then-Mayor Richard Hatcher to spearhead the Gary Commission for the Status of Women, her son said. She also was involved in some political activities in the city.
“She wanted everyone to be treated fairly,” he said. “She was a good soul, and I am going to miss her greatly.”
Roth said her sister loved doing new things and was often spontaneous, including the time she and her husband drove to Washington, D.C. after John F. Kennedy was shot so they could be there for his funeral.
She said she admired her sister for the way she overcame obstacles and always rose above.
“She was a great role model for me and many people she came in contact with,” she said. “She was an inspiration.”