Bea Abrams Cohen, who turned 102 in February, believes in mitzvahs. “Pay back. It works,” she told the LA Times.
Bea enlisted during World War II and worked for more than seventy years supporting the U.S. military and charity organizations.
She was born in Bucharest, Romania, and immigrated to America in 1920 with her mother, two siblings and stepfather. The stepfather, a widower, had nine children of his own. It’s like the Brady Family but with Rumanian Jews.
Bea won’t forget Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. “I was at the Pantages Theatre,” she told the Times. “The lights went on, the screen went black, and they said, ‘We’re at war.’ ”
She took a class on riveting and went to work, producing munitions and war supplies for Douglas Aircraft.
“I wanted to pay back for being an American,” she says.
Later on she enlisted and was sent to England, working in the communications department with top-secret documents and working in the kitchen.
She got married in 1948 and moved to Westchester, where she’s been living for the rest of that century and now this one. She told the Times she believes in “the power of prayer,” and explained that every time she gets into a fix, God sends her an angel.