“I was proud to extend birthday wishes on behalf of Mayor Phil Dyer and the citizens of Plano as we gathered to celebrate Dr. Buddy Cohen’s 100th birthday,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Smith. “Buddy is a remarkable individual who received a Bronze Star for his service to our country in World War II. Upon his return, he opened a thriving dental practice and continued his dedication to serving others by volunteering his time to help those who would not otherwise have access to dental care. You only have to know Buddy a little while to know that he gives his all to every endeavor he undertakes. I was honored to be part of the celebration, and I look forward to the festivities next year for Buddy’s 101st!”
“Buddy is a dear member of this community, and we wanted to make sure his 100th birthday celebration was truly special,” said Lana Van Giesen, executive director, The Legacy a Willow Bend. “It was lovely to celebrate his life with his family and his friends.”
Buddy was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on March 29, 1912. At sixteen, Buddy graduated from Central High School in Jackson, MS in 1928, and then enrolled in Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati to begin his rabbinic training. After one semester, Buddy realized he had a different calling in life. He attended Vanderbilt and Northwestern University Dental School and graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1935. A year after he had opened up his new dental practice, Buddy enrolled in the Army Reserves and was commissioned First Lieutenant in the Dental Reserve. He was called into active duty in 1940, and during the next three years, Buddy was promoted to the rank of Captain. After years of serving in the Army and being stationed all over the world, Buddy separated from the Army in 1946, having received the rank of Major and became a member of the Dental Corps US Army Honorary Resource. He was awarded the bronze star.
Buddy returned to his dental practice after the war and volunteered his time to help those who could not access dental care, and he also held leadership positions with the Central Dental Society and the Mississippi Dental Society. In the early 1960s, he was elected President of the Mississippi Dental Society. Buddy married Ann Esther Singer, a graduate of Purdue University in dietetics, in 1947. Together they had three children and are all currently living in Dallas. They have six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Buddy was one of the first to sign up to live in The Legacy at Willow Bend when he heard about their plans to build the community. In 2009, The Legacy chose to participate in the Dallas Area Senior Games. At age 97, Buddy came in 1st in the “over 95” in the 100 yard “dash.”
“I had said to myself that I would enter the Senior Games when pigs can fly,” said Buddy. “Then I opened the newspaper and read the headlines, ‘Swine flu,’ so I entered the Games!”
The Legacy at Willow Bend, Plano’s first and only life care retirement community, is situated on a 28-acre site at Spring Creek Parkway between Preston Road and Ohio Drive. The Legacy at Willow Bend offers resort-style services and amenities for active, independent seniors, as well as all levels of health care services on-site. The community features 103 independent living apartment homes, 12 custom independent living villas, 40 assisted living apartment homes, 18 memory support suites, and 60 private skilled healthcare suites.
The Legacy at Willow Bend is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit retirement community owned by parent company, The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. The Legacy at Willow Bend, the only Jewish-sponsored life care retirement community in Texas, is open to people of all faiths. For information, call (972) 468-6208, or visit www.thelegacyWB.org.