A resident of Staten Island, N.Y., education and administrator Ely Robert Cohen passed away on May 24.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Cohen graduated from the City College of New York (CUNY). Afterwards, he joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Korean War.

Once back, he completed his education by earning a Ph.D. and launching his teaching career after a short stint on New York City’s Wall Street.

While Cohen ran a tax-preparation business on the side, education was his main passion. He mainly taught English and history at the high school level at public schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

He spent the latter part of his career as an administrator for the New York City Department of Education GED Program, Auxiliary Services for 14 years until he retired in 1987.

He held leadership roles in B’nai B’rith and on the Education Committee of the Center for Life Long Development of the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island. He was a member of the New York State United Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). In fact, he came out of retirement to run the UFT Retired Teachers Center on Staten Island.

Among other awards, in 2016, Cohen was honored by the Retired Teachers Chapters for his “commitment to lifelong learning.”

Mourners said he was known for “his kindness, easy smile and engaging conversation.”

He is survived by Miriam, his wife of 63 years; their daughter, Suzanne Wycoff; their son, David Cohen; and five grandchildren.

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