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Cohen, Lawrence S. M.D.

Lawrence S. Cohen M.D. passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2017, at the age of 81 in Leawood, Kansas. Born and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, along with his twin sister Marilyn, by Ellis and Louise Cohen, Larry graduated from Rutgers University and earned a medical degree at New York Medical College.

Growing up in a humble home with modest means, he worked his way through college and medical school holding a wide variety of part-time jobs. He was very proud to declare that he was likely one of the few, if not the only cardiologist, who was also a Longshoreman and Teamster.

While working at Metropolitan Hospital in New York during medical school, Larry met his wife to be, Helen Gruber. Despite his acerbic wit and sometimes sarcastic nature that scared her away at first, he won Helen over and they married in 1961. Over the next several years, his medical career took them to Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia — where he served as a naval doctor and achieved the rank of Lt. Commander, Washington D.C. at the National Institute of Health and then Miami Beach, Florida. He and Helen became proud parents of four children, who were born in three different states.

After eight years in Miami Beach, Larry and Helen once again pulled up stakes and moved to Kansas City, where they would remain after such a peripatetic beginning. In Kansas City, Larry became chief of cardiology at Menorah Medical Center while also establishing his private practice that he maintained until this year.   

In 1997, he lost his beloved wife Helen to cancer, but Larry found a new life partner, and married Donna Gould in 1999. Larry and Donna traveled extensively, including regular excursions to Europe and Asia.

As the son of a truck mechanic, Larry developed an interest in automobiles from a very young age. In addition to tinkering with the regular family cars, Larry found and completely restored a 1960 Jaguar to mint condition, literally picking it up off the junk heap. Few friends and family were immune to his interest in cars, which frequently manifested itself in his offers to change the oil in their cars. He most often could be found on a weekend with car grease under his fingernails and oil stains on his surgical scrubs.

Larry was also a connoisseur of fine wine and clothing. He built his own wine cellar in the basement of their Mission Hills home, and filled it with first growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy. On his travels around the world, he would seek out clothing stores that carried his favored Zegna suits, and he welcomed the chance to acquire custom-made clothing. 

Larry is survived by his wife, Donna Gould Cohen, four children, Adam, Jonathan, David and Sarah Cohen, daughters-in-law Roxanne Cohen and Walkie Rosenzweig, and six grandchildren, Rachel, Jesse, Jacob, Helena, Reuben and Harlan.  

Funeral service was held Sept. 29, 2017, at Congregation Beth Torah; interment followed at Rose Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, the American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arrangements by The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.