Dorothy "Dutch" Idalin Gelson Cohen

  • Born: August 25, 1919
  • Died: November 11, 2018
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Downtown Chapel

232 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Tel. (843) 723.2524

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dorothy Idalin Gelson Cohen, known as Dutch, passed away on November 11, 2018 at the age of 99.

Dutch was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to Russian immigrant parents. She and her family, including an older brother and sister, moved to Yonges Island, S.C. when she was 3 weeks old. Yonah Cohen, her father, died when Dutch was 1. Zelda Rosen Gelson, her mother with whom she spoke Yiddish, owned and worked in a corner grocery store where the family lived above. Dutch made all A's at the College of Charleston, where she graduated in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and a major in math. Dutch practiced Social Work in Walterboro, S.C.

She was married for 59 loving years to Mortie Cohen, whom she married in 1941. For many years they could often be seen taking a walk in South Windermere holding hands. Together they owned and ran Colleton Drugs in Walterboro, S.C., and later, in 1954, also built and owned South Windermere Drugstore. Dutch was a partner to Mortie in life, work, and play, and was the human resources department, accountant, ghost writer and advisor at the drug store. He thrived in her love as well as from her empathic insights, never tiring interest and support, and her determined realism. She was the confidante, stand- in mother, wise counselor and friend to many others, young and old.

Dutch was active in Jewish Sisterhood and other Jewish organizations in Charleston. For many years she enjoyed playing Bridge with her friends and she and Mortie also played Couples Bridge. She loved learning and belonged to a book group with the same closely bonded group of women for over 30 years. She participated in the rabbi's study group at Synagogue Emanu-El and Jewish Studies at the College for many years. Dutch and Mortie often traveled with friends and were avid appreciators of the symphony, visual arts, and theater. They instilled in their children a love of New York City and all of its exciting culture.

Left to remember Dutch's love and support are her two children, Carolyn Cohen and Marvin Cohen, and their two spouses, Alan Dershowitz and Julie Hoover (both New Yorkers). Dutch and Mortie lost two children, Joyce at 4 years old and Stephen at 9 months old. She has 3 grandchildren, Ella, Isaac, and Jonah, and 3 great-grandchildren, Rex, Arthur, and Zelda.

The funeral will be held at Synagogue Emanu-El Cemetery on Sycamore Avenue in Charleston on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. The family will observe Shiva following the service at Dutch's house at 2 Notlee Place in South Windermere until 6:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Memorials in memory of Dutch can be made to Synagogue Emanu-El at 5 Windsor Drive, Charleston, SC 29407.