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Ruth Cohan, longtime patron of Chamber Music Society, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Jan. 28, 1921 – May 30, 2016

For years, Ruth Cohan arrived early for every Buffalo Chamber Music Society concert to guarantee herself a seat in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall – in the very last row.

She had researched the acoustics and sightlines in the room before choosing that location more than 30 years ago and explained, “They are the best seats in the hall. The sound is beautiful as it resonates off the rear wall and the view is ideal for me because there is so much space between that row and where most of the audience sits.”

Failing health caused her to miss the Chamber Music Society and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra during this past season, but she continued to follow the concerts, questioning friends about the performances. She died May 30 under hospice care in her Buffalo home. She was 95.

Born in Romania, the former Ruth Aptecar came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 8 months old and grew up in Cleveland.

In 1943, she married John Cohan, a retail jeweler. They lived in Niagara Falls, where he operated a store, then came to Buffalo, where they owned and operated the jewelry and gift department in The Sample stores until they retired in 1979. They frequently traveled to Europe to buy the latest designs. Her husband died in 1995.

In retirement, Mrs. Cohan was active as a volunteer. She was a longtime board member of Young Audiences of Western New York and served three years as president. She also was a board member and president of Friends of Western New York Public Broadcasting, supporting the WNED stations, and was elected to the national board of the Friends of Public Broadcasting.

She is survived by a sister, Selma Savren.

A celebration of her life will be held at 4 p.m. July 8 in The Mansion, 414 Delaware Ave.

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