In Loving Memory of Gerry Cohane

February 04, 1928
New York, NY
May 16, 2020
Fairfield, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


Due to current conditions, a private gravside service will be held.


Family Gathering


Gerard Charles Cohane

We had hoped that Mom might have gotten a longer break, but our Dad would not have it, and so on May 16th at the age of 92 and less than four months after she left us, he also left us to join her. Our Dad was born and raised in the Bronx and was a bit of a big deal in his neighborhood as he was on the starting five at Manhattan College and playing in Madison Square Garden at just 17-during the heyday. He never lost his passion for basketball and loved sharing that passion with everyone who would listen and even with those who might not(his 18mth old great granddaughter, the man sitting next to him at Demetri’s Barber Shop, the cashier at Stop and Shop)He indulged his love of basketball by volunteering as a coach for 13 years at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fairfield and was his granddaughter’s coach at Wakeman in Southport. He was an old fashioned coach who believed in benching kids who weren’t working to their potential (including his own sons) and didn’t believe that everyone should get a trophy. Not always easy for us kids, but all these years later, the young kids he coached who are now in their 60s and 70s still tell us that “Coach Cohane” was their biggest inspiration and taught them about life-not just about basketball. He was also the original practical joker-So convincing were his characters and accents that he was able to fool the same friends and family members hundreds of times over. No one believed they would ever fall for his prank calls again, but they did - every.single.time. He once called his brother-in-law’s sister(who had many relatives in Ireland)at 10:00 at night and in a most authentic Irish brogue announced that he was “cousin Timothy from Ireland” and that he was told that she would be picking him up at “Pennsylvania Station” in NY. While talking, he knelt down next to the running dishwasher for effect. When she said she would come get him, he told her he would only be staying a little while.”Oh really? A little while?” she asked. “Oh just a month or two” he enthusiastically responded. That call was made over 40 years ago and just yesterday she said that she will never forget it. At a large family wedding, he once placed an “Out of Order” sign on the Ladies’ Room and directed the women to use the men’s room. Women could be heard shrieking to the amusement of our father and uncle who were doubled over laughing outside the door. Our Dad also loved magic tricks and never went anywhere without his “magic thumb”. At every family and friend function and at Harborview Market, he wowed everyone from 2 to 92 with his disappearing red cloth. He so perfected that trick that we still get asked today how he did it. Our father held no bias towards anyone ever. He welcomed everyone into our home without question and once, while driving around during a blizzard(He loved to brave the elements)he came upon two stranded strangers. He brought them home, made them some dinner and put them up for the night. We have to believe they’re still talking about that experience. Dad loved cooking for his family and our friends and at our large Thanksgivings could be found peeling and mashing 25 pounds of potatoes,20 pounds of turnips and making a 30 quart pot of gravy. He was the last of the siblings in his family and will have a big fan base to greet him-His Father and Mother, Frank and Katherine Moore Cohane, His brothers John, Frank and Joe, his only sister, Kathleen Cohane Sussingham and adopted cousins/sisters, Marion Peterson and Laura Jones and in-laws whom he equally loved. He leaves behind his loving children-his favorite and only daughter, MaryKate Cohane, his five sons, Rod and his wife Terri, Jack and his wife, Stacey, Neal and his wife, Lisa, Greg and his husband, Bob and Brendan and his wife, Jaime. As well, he leaves behind 13 grandchildren Micaela, Conor, Kaitlin, Addie, Mackenzie, Finnegan, Callahan, Kiera, Carly, Courtney, Nolan, Maeve and Quinn and five great-grandchildren-Maisie,McGinnis,Gavin, Henley and Dylan. His many, many nieces and nephews will always remember him as the “fun and funny ”Uncle Gerry. As much as we didn’t believe it was possible, we will forever miss Dad’s basketball stories-especially the City College game. Give Mom a huge hug from us Dad (and a little space too!) We love you-Always. Due to current conditions a private graveside service was held at St. Thomas Cemetery. To offer an online condolence please visit

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13 Guestbook Entries for Gerard C. (Gerry) Cohane

  1. What a beautiful narrative of a life well lived. My heartfelt condolences to Mary Kate and the entire Cohane Family on the loss of one so dear! May you be comforted knowing your Mom and Dad have been reunited eternally forever. May God bless you at this difficult time and for always.

  2. To All of the Cohanes
    I am so sorry for your loss. I have so many great memories of your dad, mom and Edna Miller at dinner parties. As you so eloquently stated in the obituary, he was always telling jokes and doing magic tricks. He always made you feel important and was a wonderful host. I am sure he is shaking things up in heaven! My deepest sympathies to all the family.
    Kathleen Blackall

  3. Mary Kate and the Cohane family,

    I was saddened to read of Gerrys passing. I will miss my puzzle partner! I loved being in the Greenroom with Gerry and his beloved Sally..they were like teenagers..holding hands and Gerry always asking if she wanted a soda..and then, cane in hand walking to the soda machine bring back drinks for all. A sweetheart. I loved his stories (which he loved to share, over and over again!) My life has been made better by having him as a friend. May he rest in peace. Sally he’s on his way back to you. Deepest regards , Mary (Moo) Munson

  4. So many great memories of Gerry and Sally. Gerry was a great mentor to me,especially in how to engage with people. He was a master. Gerry was so much fun to be around. I loved talking college basketball with him,especially about his Manhattan days, playing against Bob Cousy and other legends. He was a true friend. Gerry loved people,kids- he really enjoyed being around and teaching young people. No body had a better sense of humor. God bless Gerry ,Sally, and all of you in the Cohane family. You have two of the best parents,grandparents,and great grandparents the world has ever known.

  5. Rest In Peace Gerry, my Dear Friend and Brother in Law and until we meet again, may God hold you in the Palm of His Hand!

  6. Rest in peace Gerry Cohane. My dear friend and brother-in-law. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. With Love, Marion

  7. As one of those many kids inspired by Mr., and Mrs., Cohane I feel so grateful to have known them, and to have grown up with Rod, Jack and Mary Kate as classmates, teammates and friends. And to have Mr. and Mrs. Cohane as great friends to our mom and dad. Typing this on Memorial Day morning, instead of preparing for the arrival of the Cohane clan along with another 75 -100 for the parade watching/wiffle ball celebration of the beginning of Summer, is particularly poignant, but does give a special space for reflection and gratitude to the wonderful parents and mentors with whom we have been blessed, and as the wonderful celebratory remembrance note recognizes, Mr and Mrs Cohane are at the very top of that list for so many of us. We are lucky to have known them, and to have been coached and guided by them, particularly in the early parts of our own journeys.

    • Mary Kate and Family,
      My deepest sympathy for your loss. Although I only knew Gerry for a few years, I am very grateful to have experienced his hospitality, kindness, quick wit, and sincere appreciation for rides to visit Sally.
      RIP Gerry

  8. My heart goes out to Jack, Mary Kate and the Cohane clan. In keeping with his funny antics,
    I remember the fake mongoose cage. He made me look real close as he was trying to shake the mongoose out of his hole. Then the cage door popped open and I flew back into the refrigerator with my heart in my throat, while the whole gang was in hysterics. Got me Mr. Cohane. You were loved by many and raised a great family of your own. Can’t complain about that. RIP

  9. MaryKate, so sorry to read about your Dads passing. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. You were a wonderful daughter to both of your parents and I am sure they will be watching over you for many years to come. God a Bless.

  10. Dear MaryKate and family,
    Your dad was an inspiration to me. When I was in 7th and 8th grade at St. Thomas, he was my basketball coach. Fast forward to me being in my early 20’s, he was my mentor as I became the coach for St. Thomas. He counseled me in my early days as a young coach. I’d come to your family home and he’d arrange the dining room chairs into formations for players. So lucky to have those memories and to have coached Brendan and Conor.
    Love and Prayers,
    Dave Sullivan