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Supporter Spotlight: Fred Cohen

As C&C transitions its former model of local chapters into regional Action Teams, we acknowledge Fred Cohen, a chapter founder and president, whose devotion helped pave the path to New Jersey’s unstoppable momentum.

Fred Cohen, front right, with Barbara Coombs Lee and other friends and family

Fred Cohen, front right, with Barbara Coombs Lee and other friends and family

With enough votes necessary to move their medical aid-in-dying bill out of Assembly in the coming days, Compassion & Choices looks back at the influence of Fred Cohen, who helped build the state’s Delaware Valley chapter, served as president, was instrumental in helping the chapter make the transition to an Action Team and continued as a tireless campaigner until his death.

Fred became involved in the movement after watching his friend Max die a horrendous death from throat cancer. Fred went into detail of that suffering when being interviewed on the radio, speaking to groups or testifying at hearings.

A successful engineer, entrepreneur and Korean War vet, Fred kept busy even in retirement on a variety of projects and became dedicated to the end-of-life options movement, lobbying state legislators on behalf of the earliest laws that would allow people to control how and when they died.

Always physically active, he played singles tennis into his mid seventies until he suffered a rare and sudden spinal event which left him wheelchair bound and in constant pain for the last eight years of his life. He still pressed on with great zeal, however, and when asked how he was doing in these last years, the answer was always the same: “I’m rolling along.” He died at the age of 83, unable to recover from the last of the numerous life-threatening health events he suffered in his final years.

Fred is fondly remembered and missed, and his legacy as a leader in the movement continues to grow.

Learn how to become involved in an Action Team in your area.


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