9:33 a.m., March 26, 2009----Lester S. Cohen, 84, who earned his master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Delaware, in 1950 and 1952, respectively, died Sunday, March 22.
Dr. Cohen was a retired chemist whose lifelong love of science and playful sense of humor once got him voted “Best Boss” at the DuPont Co., where he worked for 25 years in Philadelphia and Delaware.
He was a generous and loving husband, father and son, who also gave of himself to his synagogue and his community.
Dr. Cohen was drafted out of college to serve in the Army as a medical laboratory technician during World War II. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Transport Excelsior, a troop ship, and participated in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Although military mail was censored to conceal troop movement, he managed to send a clue to his parents that he had been there by writing that he heard his Aunt Dora got married and asking for her new last name. As he well knew, it was “Frantz.”
After the war, Dr. Cohen earned a bachelor's degree at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science, where he won a gold medal for graduating first in his class, and a master's degree and doctorate in chemistry at the University of Delaware. As a reward for completing his education, he asked for a Toy Manchester Terrier, whom he named “Kemistree.” Dr. Cohen set up a laboratory with his brother, Eugene, also a chemist, before going to work at DuPont.
He and his wife, Selma (Field) Cohen lived almost all of their married life in Broomall, Pa., where he was a founding president of Congregation Beth El Suburban and a longtime member of the Marple Township Environmental Advisory Board.
Dr. Cohen is survived by his wife, Selma, of The Quadrangle, in Haverford, Pa., and daughters Celia Cohen, AS '74, of Newark, Del., and Bobbi Cohen, of New York City. He was predeceased by his parents, Albert and Reba Cohen, and his brother, Eugene.
Funeral services were held March 25 at Joseph Levine & Son Inc. in Broomall, Pa., with burial at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pa.