Robert L. Cohen Services Set for Oct. 25
October 17, 2014 — Memorial visitation has been scheduled for Robert L. Cohen, Director of the Maine Township Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 1 to 4 PM at Oehler Funeral Home, 2099 Miner St., Des Plaines. Mr. Cohen passed away suddenly on Sunday, Oct. 12, while he was out of town on personal business in Kentucky.
"It is with profound sadness that I am announcing the loss of one of our stalwart staff members," said Supervisor Carol A. Teschky. "A dedicated employee who has served our township for more than 20 years, he will be deeply missed not only by his fellow staff members, but also by the citizens of Maine Township that he assisted so well in times of disaster and emergency." Dagmar Rutzen, Chief Deputy Director of Operations for the agency, will assume the role of acting director, according to Supervisor Teschky.
With more than 45 years in disaster response and preparedness, Mr. Cohen rose through the ranks in Maine Township where he began in as a volunteer in 1991. After becoming a part-time employee in 1994, he was named Interim Director of Maine Township’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) in 2002, most recently serving as Director of the Office of Emergency Management.
Recognized by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce in 2004 as a Community Star, Mr. Cohen received the William "Bill" Cox Memorial Award for Excellence in Emergency Management in 2013. He also received a Humanitarian Service Award for his work with Katrina in 2005; a 2010 Mentor Award from the Office of the Surgeon General, Health and Human Services, Office of Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps; and a Lifetime Achievement Presidential Award. Active in the Northwest Suburban Council of the Boy Scouts where he served on the Risk Management Committee, he was also involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and its Ron Santo Walk for a Cure.
Mr. Cohen, who lived in Des Plaines, is survived by his wife, Patricia, and three grown children, Jonathan, Jae and Jennifer (Seitz).