Herbert Kohn died July 16, 2020, at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, at the age of 93. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1926.
After escaping from Germany during the Holocaust, Herbert and his family came to the United States after a year in England, eventually settling in Columbus, Ga. Herbert served in the United States Army during World War II and retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves.
He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in agriculture majoring in dairy husbandry. He later became a certified public accountant and worked in Columbus for several years. Then he joined Cohn Communities, a major home building company in Atlanta, as chief financial officer, retiring in 1991 as president and CEO.
Herbert then served as executive director of the new Urban Residential Development Corporation for the City of Atlanta promoting the availability of affordable housing for families in the low- and moderate-income range, retiring in 1998.
Herbert served twice as president of Jewish Family & Career Services, an agency dedicated to providing social services. He continued to serve on the board of trustees and was a member of the Holocaust Survivors Advisory Committee for many years. He also was on the board of trustees of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies, which is the umbrella organization of Family Service agencies in North America.
His passion became teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and he spoke widely over many years through the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum to public and private schools, universities and civic organizations to relay the message of “It Shall Never Happen Again.”
Herbert served in many leadership roles in other local and national professional, civic, educational and charitable organizations, including involvement in their management, planning, fundraising and allocation processes.
He was the recipient of a channel 11 Community Service Award in 2010 for his efforts of further teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and in 2016 received the Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award from the Anti-Defamation League. He was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel and a founding member of Congregation Beth Shalom.
Herbert was a kind, loving, caring and passionate husband, father, grandfather and friend whose mission in life was “to make the world a better place.” He was a great humanitarian and will be missed by many in the community.
He is predeceased by his parents Irene and Leo Kohn; brother Ernest Kohn; and his first wife Elaine Friedman Kohn. He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years Frances; children Barbara Zoppo (Eugene) and Frank Kohn (Debra) of Fort Myers, Fla.; as well as Frances’s children Debra Halpern (Harold), Sheryl Brandt and Mark Goodman (Terri); and brother-in-law Joel Butler, with all of whom he was very close. He is also survived by his grandchildren Andrea Zoppo in Decatur, Ga., Damian Zoppo (Tammy) in Israel, Rachel Kohn (Joshua Dawson), and David Kohn of Orlando, Fla.; and Frances’s grandchildren Ben Halpern, Ryan Halpern (Stacy), Joshua Halpern (Gig), Brett Goodman (Rachel), Sara Leaf (Brian), Jennifer Jones (Bill), Matt Goodman; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Heartfelt thanks to the staff at Belmont Village Buckhead for the care and kindness given Herbert in the time he was there.
Donations may be made to the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Jewish Family & Career Services or a charity of your choice. Due to COVID-19, the funeral was limited to immediate family on July 19 in Columbus, Ga. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- Breman Jewish Heritage Museum
- Jewish Family & Career Services
- Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care
- Herbert Kohn
- United States Army
- Auburn Univeristy
- Cohn Communities
- Urban Residential Development Corporation
- Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award
- Anti-Defamation League
- Congregation Shearith Israel
- Congregation Beth Shalom