Mark Cohan, a dedicated educator, steadfast mentor, and beloved husband and father, died at the age of 75 following a stroke. Mark was born in the Bronx, New York to Lillian and Irving Cohan. He would be the oldest of three boys, followed by his brothers Paul and Carl. He was a natural leader and a vibrant child with a strong devotion to his studies from an early age.
Mark attended Yale University, where he made friends he would treasure throughout his life. He fondly recalled playing trumpet in the Yale band and traveling the world for the first time. It was also during his college years that Mark met his college sweetheart, later turned wife, Linda (Podnek) Cohan. Their marriage went on to last 50 years, until her death in 2021.
Mark later obtained an M.A. in American Studies from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Connecticut. His devoted career in education spanned a variety of roles including history teacher at Glastonbury High School, principal at Gideon Welles School in Glastonbury, principal at Farmington High School, superintendent of the Bolton and Cromwell School Districts, and eventually, the headmaster of Norwich Free Academy. Mark had a wide influence on the personal and professional lives of many and was well loved by his colleagues and students.
From the beginning, Mark maintained strong values around education access for all and would go above and beyond for those students who sought his mentorship. Before retiring, his work culminated in teaching other rising educators at Central Connecticut State University. Each professional chapter brought him deep satisfaction and lifelong meaning. In his free time, Mark continued to play his trumpet right up through his last days of life. His love of music was steadfast and something he passed on to his children.
As dedicated as he was to education and to his wife, Mark's longest-lasting love was perhaps baseball. A Mets fan from day one, Mark got real joy from following his team, win or lose (but a little more with a win). He was also a writer and self-published a book on his reflections from his teaching career. Some of his dearest memories were his travels with his wife and kids. He would think of these memories often, and while Linda was the one who made the plans, he was always happy to go along and grateful to have his horizons expanded. That said, Mark was fond of his life in Glastonbury. He often remarked on the sweet simplicity of the town he called home throughout his adult life. Mark had an affinity for simple pleasures, like listening to Bluegrass on Saturday mornings, eating Japanese food, and driving down to the ferry landing just to take in the view.
He is survived by his children, Andrew Cohan and Allison Cohan Becker. A service will be held this summer to honor Mark Cohan and Linda Cohan jointly. Condolences can be sent to his children at: Andrewcohan@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Mark's name to his favorite global charity, Heifer International. For online condolences, please visit www.mulryanfh.com.
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