Sarabel Kass Cohen was an extraordinary woman who lived a wonderful life. She died as she lived, with grace and dignity, at the age of 96 at home in Atlanta Oct. 25, 2020. She lived a storybook life, marrying Gilbert, the man of her dreams, raising two sons Kass and Seth, who she adored and who adored her, and being blessed with a daughter-in-law Stephanie, the daughter she never had, and granddaughter Gracie, the light of her life, whose recent bat mitzvah brought tears of joy and celebration to her Saysa’s eyes and heart.
Sarabel was born in Savannah, Ga., March 1, 1924, to Charles Kass and Ida Greenberg Kass, but grew up in the small town of Thomaston with her big brother Irving, who she loved dearly. She was valedictorian of her high school, Robert E. Lee Institute, and made wonderful, lifelong friends. Her parents, and later she and her brother, owned and operated Charles Kass Company clothing stores on the town square, where locals would gather, gossip and enjoy each other’s company.
Sarabel graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens with a bachelor of arts in Spanish, where she was named Phi Betta Kappa, and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Emory University in Atlanta. She then met Gilbert, the love of her life. They married and lived happily together in Atlanta for 56 years until Gilbert’s death in 2004.
She and Gilbert raised their two sons Kass and Seth, her pride and joy. She was their mama and best friend, loving, teaching and caring for them until her final days.
Always a teacher, Sarabel taught Spanish at the University of Georgia as a very young woman before marrying Gilbert. After her children went to college, Sarabel once again was called to teaching, where she spent many years teaching English as a Second Language at Georgia State University to hundreds of men and woman from foreign lands. She loved teaching and being around young people and wrote two well-respected ESL textbooks.
Sarabel was a proud Jew and lifelong member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, where she taught Sunday School. Sarabel also did volunteer work with the National Council of Jewish Women.
Sarabel was that one person in the family that all others called for advice, encouragement and strength, to share good news or just to say hello. She had a wonderful sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and a great sense of style. Life without her will not be the same, but all our lives have been forever changed and enriched for having known and loved her. She was our friend and will be missed so very, very much. But the truth is, she did live a wonderful life, fulfilled her dreams and went out “on top,” as she told her children days before she peacefully left this life. And that is truly extraordinary.
Sarabel is survived by her son Charles Kass Cohen of Atlanta; son and daughter-in-law Seth Ray and Stephanie Bourland Cohen; granddaughter Gracie Cohen of Elon, N.C.; nephew Charles Kass of Thomaston, Ga.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Doe and Susan Cohen of Atlanta; sisters-in-law Pat Cohen of Atlanta and Sheila Cohen of Aventura, Florida; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.