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Bert Cohen

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Just received a voice mail from Rosalie Cohen. Bert Cohen passed away last night. He was 83 years old.

You will not have found a bigger cheerleader for marble collecting or for contemporary marble artists anywhere. He'll be sorely missed.

Bob

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I am saddened by Bert's passing. He was an enthusiastic elder statesman of the hobby - with more energy at age 80 than most people have at age 40. In all my times with Bert - I never regretted a minute that I passed with him. He had time for everyone and generously shared his huge wealth of knowledge with anyone that had a question. He gave marbles to kids at shows and was always trying to increase awareness of the collecting hobby. On top of that, Bert was a gentleman.

His passing leaves a huge hole in the hobby. My family and I will miss him.

Alan Z

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R.I.P. BERT COHEN

I first met Bert in the 1970's.

He was a already a legend in the marble world.

Bert & I did dozens of marble deals every year.

He always had a big smile and was full of fun & marbles.

Bert will be missed by many collectors.

.

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so sorry to hear this.. Bert introduced me to contemp marbles in the '80's - he always had such kind words for everyone and made it a point to see people at a show to talk with them.

a void that will not be filled.

my thoughts and prayers go to Rosalie and family.

Di

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Bert never forget anyone, I was at his last show this year and he remembered that it had been 14 years since we last saw each other but he still knew my name. He will be missed and never forgotten. R. I. P. and God be with you.

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Sad news today. I was lucky enough early in my marble collecting to meet Bert at a show in Canada. I had a room between Bert and Les Jones. I spent most of that show with Bert and Les. One which i will never forget and what a impression both of those legendry marble men left on me. My last talk with Bert was about the Alley salesman sample case that he had decided to sell. Bert was a true gentleman and role model for any marble collector. He will be missed by many.

My condolence to his family.

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So sorry to hear about Bert. We never met in person, but we corresponded fairly regularly about this and that. He called me the small marble lady . . . He found it amusing that I wouldn't classify anything over 1 1/8" a marble [just for my own collection, since I couldn't confine myself by time period, material, method of manufacture, or any other marbling thing, and I had to stop somewhere. And I couldn't get a good shooting grip on anything bigger than 1 1/8.] He said his biggest marble was about the size of a bowling ball. and he still thought of it as a marble. I thought of it as a sphere. Or an orb. Or a globe. We agreed to disagree. He was also helpful in my getting smaller contemporary marbles by people who didn't usually make them small enough for me . . . And he had some great old marbles (by their size -- I don't know what kind of game they might have been used in; may have been medieval period . . .) . . . And so forth.

If his death causes me to feel such a loss, I can't imagine what his family must be feeling. My condolences.

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sad news for sure. condolences to bert's family .. r.i.p. ........ bill

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Sad news indeed. He even spared time for my silly questions and it was always a pleasure to talk with him. RIP Mister Cohen

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A sad day for the marble community.

Always a soft handshake,a smiling face with the warm welcome of "How are you my friend".

Usualy follow by,"Do you have any clamsbroths or goosberries,Griff?"

Bert has helped me,and many many others in the marble community.

He will be missed by many,but never forgotten.

RIP My Friend.

My condolences to his family.

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I hate to hear of his passing. he promoted marbles with every breath he had. My condolences to his family, scott

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Bert was a really great person with a sincere handshake and warm smile. He will be missed . . .

I do wish that someone could compile a list his interests. Bert collected all sorts of marbles - but also had an interest in macerated money, hula hoops ( a business venture) and many more eclectic items.

Those who knew Bert will miss him.

Steve

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I wish I'd been as fortunate as others to have known him.

One almost never sees such 'density' of both grief and praise as has been expressed here.

He must have been a magnificent human being.

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He was president of Irwin Toys, which made the first Barbie car.

He collected marbles, paperweights, art glass, coins, mascerated money, glass canes to name a few.

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I attended Bert's funeral today. The funeral home was packed. Rosalie included me amongst those who spoke about Bert. I've included my remarks below. The only other marble folks that I saw there were Sue Cooper and Carl Popp.

The gravesite was about a 45 minute drive from the funeral home. The procession had a State Police escort! The police actually stopped all southbound traffic on Rt. 128 and then I-95 to allow the procession to continue unimpeded. Only Bert!!!!

Sue and I both threw some marbles into the grave before we spaded dirt. Sue got one of hers to land on the coffin top, right over Bert's heart.

It was a bittersweet day. Bert will be missed.

My remarks:

MY FRIEND. ANYONE WHO HAS DEALT WITH BERT HAS HEARD HIM USE THAT PHRASE.

MY FRIEND.

MY FRIEND, HOW ARE YOU?

MY FRIEND, HOW’S YOUR FAMILY?

MY FRIEND, I’M LOOKING FOR A GOLDEN REBEL FOR A CLIENT, DO YOU HAVE ONE?

MY FRIEND, ARE YOU TAKING A TABLE AT THE SHOW THIS YEAR?

I’VE RECEIVED ALMOST A HUNDRED EMAILS FROM MARBLE COLLECTORS WHO HEARD THAT BERT HAD PASSED. THIS MORNING BEFORE I LEFT TO COME UP HERE, I RECEIVED TWO THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU. THEY DESCRIBE THE KIND OF PERSON THAT BERT WAS.

THE FIRST WAS FROM A GENTLEMAN IN GERMANY. HE SAID HE HAD PURCHASED A NUMBER OF MARBLES OVER THE YEARS FROM BERT. HE SAID THAT BERT ALWAYS BEGAN EMAILS TO HIM WITH “MY DEAR, DEAR FRIEND” AND THIS MADE HIM VERY HAPPY BECAUSE HE FELT THAT BERT APPROVED OF HIS COLLECTION.

THE OTHER WAS FROM A WOMAN WHO WROTE THAT SHE GOES TO SIERRA LEONE OFTEN. OVER THE YEARS BERT HAS DONATED A LOT OF MARBLES AND BOOKS ABOUTMARBLE GAMES FOR HER TO TAKE OVER AND GIVE TO SCHOOL CHILDREN.

EVERYONE WAS HIS FRIEND AND HE GAVE FREELY.

I’VE KNOWN BERT FOR OVER 40 YEARS. SOME OF MY EARLIEST MEMORIES OF THE MARBLE WORLD ARE BERT COMING DOWN TO MY PARENT’S HOUSE TO TRADE MARBLES WITH MY DAD. 40 YEARS AGO BERT BECAME THE 4TH LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE MARBLE COLLECTORS SOCIETY OF AMERICA.

THE BEST WORD TO DESCRIBE BERT’S ROLE IN THE MARBLE WORLD IS THAT HE WAS A CHEERLEADER. HE ENCOURAGED KIDS TO COLLECT MARBLES, OFTEN GIVING THEM AWAY AT MARBLE SHOWS. HE ENCOURAGED MARBLE PLAYING, EVEN SPONSORING MARBLE TOURNAMENTS ON BOSTON COMMON. HE ENCOURAGED YOUNG CONTEMPORARY MAKERS TO PRACTICE AND HONE THEIR ART, OFTEN BUYING HUGE AMOUNTS OF INVENTORY THAT HE COULD NEVER HOPE TO RESELL IN A LIFETIME. I’M SURE THERE ARE STILL CONTEMPORARY MARBLES IN BERT’S INVENTORY THAT HE BOUGHT BACK IN THE LATE 1970S. HE TIRELESSLY PROMOTED AND MANAGED THE NORTHEAST MARBLE MEET FOR THIRTY YEARS.

THIS LIST DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE THE IMPACT THAT BERT HAS HAD ON MARBLE COLLECTING. IT WOULD BE FAIR TO SAY THAT EVERY SINGLE MARBLE COLLECTOR HAS EITHER BOUGHT FROM BERT, OR AT LEAST KNOWS WHO MARBLEBERT IS.

BERT, ON BEHALF OF ALL THOSE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF KIDS, ARTISTS AND COLLECTORS WHO’S LIVES YOU’VE IMPACTED, I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. MARBLE COLLECTING WOULD NOT BE WHAT IT IS TODAY IF IT WERE NOT FOR YOU. YOU WERE A VISIONARY, A PIONEER, A CHEERLEADER AND A FRIEND.

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