Steven F. Cohn
Yarmouth - Steven F. Cohn, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, died July 29, 2019, from complications of Parkinson's disease at the age of 79. He came to the University of Maine in 1971 after obtaining his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University. In 1971-1972, he played a leading role along with the then chair of the Sociology Department Herbert Maccoby in setting up the foundation of a renewed sociology department. He also taught in the University of Maine Honors College for many years. Due to his Parkinson's, he retired in 2014 in his mid-70s. This was still much sooner than he would have preferred, because he loved teaching and he loved the intellectual world of ideas.
Students routinely raved about Professor Cohn's teaching. He made sociological theory come alive for them, and they loved him for that. He fittingly received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching and Advising from the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Professor Cohn appreciated the arts, traveling to view the treasures in Europe, Boston, and New York, and attending the Met opera, ballets and concerts from New York to Orono as much as possible. He delighted in the blossoming of the arts in Maine. He generously supported many organizations in these interests as well, including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
Professor Cohn's friends and former students will miss him deeply. In a world where too many people look for the worst in each other, he looked for the best in everyone, and for more than forty years he was the most congenial and beloved colleague and teacher that any academic department could have ever hoped for.
Dr. Cohn's dedication to human qualities of living and his commitment to spiritual growth and transcendence inspired his final journey with peace and fulfillment, amidst the love, respect, and support of his family, friends and community.
He is survived by son Iain Cohn and daughter-in-law Samantha Cohn.
In his facing of fear, he taught us courage; as he learned acceptance, he taught us patience; in his reliance, he taught us confidence; in his trust, he strengthened our trustworthiness; he showed us what grace looks like in his dealings with his failing body; and as he sought to crack open his heart and love himself and others, he strengthened our gratitude for how we and all people can decide to participate in creating healing, hope, and joy.
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Published on August 10, 2019


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3 posts

Jody Myers '92
Aug 21, 2019
Thank you so much for teaching me to perpetually ask, still all these years later..."How do we live?" For supervising my thesis, for coming to see me in Philadelphia to tour the art museum. For long chats listening to opera at the house you loved by the river. You touched my life and forever changed it. I will miss you so.
Mary McGraw Gordon
Aug 11, 2019
Dear Family, Friends, Colleagues of Steve Cohn,
You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of beloved Professor Cohn. He served on my panel for Masters Thesis in School of Liberal Studies. He was a compassionate and inspiring man . Rest In Peace Professor❤️
Eric Mann
Aug 10, 2019
RIP Professor Cohn. I'll anyways remember you being one of my best mentors in understanding social theory and putting it to work. I will always be indebted to Prof. Gallagher and yourself for who I have become in this world. I will never forget you.