Richard Kohn, ‘quiet, humble’ leader, 81

Richard Kohn, ‘quiet, humble’ leader, 81

Attorney Richard Kohn, a leading member of the Princeton Mercer Bucks Jewish community, died in Pennington on March 29 at the age of 81.

“Dick Kohn was one of the most philanthropic and humble men I have ever met. He was well-respected by everyone,” said Andrew Frank, executive director of Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.

“He was a presence at any meeting he attended,” Frank recalled in an April 24 phone interview with NJ Jewish News.

“He was generally very quiet, but when he had something to say, everybody stopped and listened. He had a wry sense of humor and you’d be shocked by this quiet, humble man who was sitting back and taking things in, then all of a sudden he would come out with something that lightened the mood,” said Frank.

A native of Trenton, Kohn was a resident of Greenwood House in Ewing at the time of his death. He was a member of the nursing home’s board and served as its finance committee chair.

But Greenwood House represented only a fraction of Kohn’s charitable involvement, in and outside the Jewish community.

In 1964, he became a founder and vice president of the Jewish Community Foundation of Princeton Mercer Bucks and sat on the boards of most local Jewish agencies including the federation’s executive committee for many years. He served as chair of the foundation’s investment committee and was a member of the JCC Princeton Mercer Bucks and chair of its finance committee.

For his efforts, Kohn was presented with the federation’s 1993 and 2000 Community Service Awards and, in 1995, its Lifetime Achievement Award.

He also served as a trustee of Mercer Medical Center Foundation, Trenton Jaycees, Multiple Sclerosis Society, YMCA Advisory Board, Carolyn Stokes Day Nursery, and the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County.

A graduate of Harvard University and its law school, Kohn was a senior partner at the law firm of Fox Rothschild in Princeton.

After his death, Kohn was memorialized on the firm’s website as “an outstanding tax attorney during his legal career that spanned 57 years. In addition to his legal acumen, he was known for his commitment to community service,” the posting said.

He is survived by a sister, Miriam Sawyer, and her husband, Bernie Sawyer; a niece, Susan Sawyer; a nephew, Benjamin Sawyer; and a grandnephew, Everett Sawyer.

Kohn was buried at Ewing Cemetery following funeral services at Adath Israel Congregation in Lawrenceville. Funeral arrangements were made by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel in Ewing Township.

Donations can be made to Greenwood House, 53 Walter St., Ewing, NJ 08628 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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