Heiman Cohn, World War II veteran and author, celebrates 100 years

Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Heiman Cohn is a World War II veteran who served under generals Patton, Collins and Eisenhower. He was involved in battles at Kasserine Pass and El Guettar in North Africa and survived German firepower from “Big Bertha” in St. Lo France. Cohn married the love of his life, Jane Hill, on Oct. 14, 1945, and on Feb. 13, 2019, a surprise birthday party was held to celebrate his 100th birthday.

“This is something I never expected. It is really a great feeling to have people love you like this,” Cohn said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Surrounded by family and friends, Cohn’s birthday celebration was held at the home of Bill Libbey, who is the owner of the Carriage House Apartments, where Cohn has lived since 1968.

“I’ve known him (Cohn) for the last probably 20 to 25 years as the owner of the apartments,” Libbey said, “and he and his wife were just a lovely couple.”

And to honor him, Libbey said, he wanted to throw him a surprise birthday party.

“When somebody makes it to be a 100, somebody needs to stand up and take notice,” he said, “especially someone who has done so much for the country.”

Several years ago, Libbey said, Cohn began putting a little flag out in front of the apartments.

“He would put it out every morning, so my son and I decided to build a flag pole,” Libbey said, adding, a plaque was also installed with a dedication marker that reads “This flagpole is dedicated to WWII veteran Maj. Heiman Cohn,” Libbey said, “And underneath I put ‘a true American’ and when he saw it, he bowed up and said, ‘this makes me so proud.’”

Nephew Danny Cohn said the highlights of his uncle’s life were serving in the military and being married to his wife for 70 years.

He also said his uncle has a wonderful spirit.

“He was a talented craftsman. He made beautiful furniture, and he would make cradles and give them to people when they were going to have a child,” Danny Cohn said.

Friend Mack Varner said Cohn’s whole life story is “fascinating.”

Cohn wrote an autobiographical account of his life entitled, “Our Wonder Life.”

The book includes a family history, as well as memories of his military career. It also serves as a tribute to his wife, who died in 2015.

And as a centenarian, Varner said, Cohn’s memory is still “very intact.”

“He always has a great attitude,” Varner said.

After being serenaded with “Happy “Birthday,” Cohn was asked if he had any words of wisdom. His response was, “I haven’t worried about anything since the Battle of St. Lo. I didn’t get killed in that particular battle and I looked up at the Lord and said, ‘Thank you Lord.’ And I haven’t worried about anything since.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart