Our History

L’Dor v’Dor From Generation to Generation

My great-grandfather Sam Feldman didn’t set out to found Denver’s Jewish mortuary. Moving his young family from Rochester, New York in the late 1800s, he came for the dry air. Sam was a serial entrepreneur, ultimately finding success in transportation. That success led to an unexpected calling.

Back then, Denver’s observant Jewish community cared for their loved one and held the funeral service itself in the home, but they needed outside assistance for transportation to the cemetery. Others in the community had no other options—they had to use non-Jewish funeral homes, which typically had little understanding of Jewish traditions.

Sam saw the genuine need for our Denver Jewish community to be cared for by one of our own and at a fair price; a place where Jewish tradition was honored, trust was inherent and unshakable, and deep personal connections were forged.

In April of 1936, Sam Feldman opened Feldman’s Mortuary on 1452 Tremont when telephone numbers were the area plus four numbers accessed by an operator (East 7764). Then, as now, Feldman’s Mortuary was known as, “the only Jewish hearse in Denver”. Sam served Denver’s Jewish community with compassion and sincerity until his untimely death in 1937. So valued was Sam among both the Jewish and the greater Denver community that the crowd of 1,500 overflowed the B’nai B’rith building at Colfax and Williams, with dignitaries such as Mayor William Stapleton in attendance.

Sam’s wife Sadie kept the business running until Aaron Cohen, her son-in-law and the husband of Sam and Sadie’s only child, Dorothy, was able to take up Sam’s mantle. Aaron ran the day-to-day operations while Dorothy took over the books. And, until her death in 2012 at age 96, Dorothy was our company’s best database. Her razor-sharp memory could tell us who was related to whom and a special story or two about each family. Among the ways we’ve honored her memory is to continue her commitment to ensuring we have deep personal knowledge of our community.

In 1939, Aaron and Dorothy moved the funeral home to our current location of 1673 York Street. Dorothy continued assisting Aaron as she raised their three children; Stephen, Nancy, and Margey. Aaron focused on continuing Sam’s dedication to the Denver Jewish community by adapting the facility to accommodate a Tahara room and Shomer room. Over the next 41 years, Aaron and Dorothy continued to weave the Feldman/Cohen family and Feldman Mortuary into the fabric of Denver’s Jewish community.

In the summer of 1980, my dad, Steve Cohen, succeeded his father Aaron, as President and owner. Steve worked diligently at forging relationships, establishing continuity within the community and increasing our range of services to better meet their evolving needs. His leadership over 25 years prepared the business for future generations to build upon the reputation of Feldman Mortuary.

In late 1995, I became the fourth generation of the Feldman/Cohen family to serve our Denver Jewish community. There is no greater pride than what I feel as we celebrate over eighty years in business and the fact that our Denver Jewish community has placed their trust and confidence in our family. And in return, I promise to continue the tradition of superior service, compassionate care, and fair prices that my great-grandfather Sam started so long ago.

L’Dor v’Dor From Generation to Generation

Jim Cohen