The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


June 12, 2014

Ethel Cohen Biller

Sharon native loved ‘Little United Nations’ home

- — Ethel Cohen Biller of Juniper Village at the Shenango Inn, Sharon, died at 10:07 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, 2014. She was 98.

A lifelong resident of Sharon, Mrs. Biller was born Aug. 5, 1915, the youngest and last survivor of eight children for Minnie Sanow and Nathan Cohen.

She grew up in the old North Flats area of Sharon, which she considered the best part of town – “a little United Nations,” she called it.

A proud graduate of Sharon High School in 1933, Ethel attended all of her class reunions and was “keeper of the list” as class historian.

She married Simon W. Biller, of Youngstown, on May 7, 1939.

A career starting in 1960 as an enumerator for R.L. Polk Publishing Co., headquartered in Detroit, which publishes city directories, made her the go-to person for family members and friends who needed information on addresses in the area. She was supervisor for the directories of the Sharon and Greenville areas for 18 years, retiring in 1978.

She was a member of Temple Beth Israel, Sharon, its Sisterhood, and the Shenango Valley Chapter of Hadassah, and, most recently, a member of Congregation Rodef Sholom of Youngstown.

An interest in life’s fascinating details also made her a source of family and local history, especially of the city in which she grew up.

A love of beautiful things was reflected in Mrs. Biller’s collections, including Dutch windmill items and miniature pianos, as well as crafts by her and her husband. The couple, who were members of the Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild for many years, participated in various shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where he displayed his stained glass ornaments and she displayed her soft sculpture and tooth fairy pillows.

Her life was enriched by a love of music. She had a unique talent for the “solfeggio” style of singing, and had spent many years as the local representative for the New York Metropolitan Opera Company’s annual spring tour in Cleveland.

Mrs. Biller also had a standing date for more than 70 years with the New York Times’ Sunday crossword puzzle and double Crostics.

She learned to drive at age 54, an achievement that made her so happy!

Ethel had a smile and a story for everyone she met.

She leaves many dear friends and relatives to cherish their time with her, including: two daughters, Natalie Biller, North Lima, Ohio; and Charlotte Biller and her husband William Barrow, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; two granddaughters, Cynthia Nicklas and her husband Carl, Transfer; and Rhonda Schadt and her husband Gary, Greenville; five great-grandchildren, Jacquelyn Bach, Laura and Lindsey Nicklas, and Tyler and Kelly Schadt; two great-great-granddaughters; a beloved sister-in-law, Beatrice Clarke Cohen; and many dear nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Biller was preceded in death by her husband, who died on Aug. 24, 1987; her parents; one sister, Dora Sloan; and six brothers: Isadore, Benjamin, William, Morris, Harold and Louis Cohen.

The family thanks Sharon Regional Hospice for their compassion and patience, and Juniper Village for not only caring for Ethel, but for making her part of their family.

Mrs. Biller requested that friends omit flowers as a tribute. For those who would like to make a charitable donation in her memory, the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, 11 N. Sharpsville Ave., Sharon, PA 16146; or a charity of the donor’s choice are suggested.


Mrs. Simon W. (Ethel Cohen), 98, Sharon.

Calling hours: None.

Service: Funeral service at noon today (6-13-14) in SAMPLE-O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME Inc., 555 E. State St. Sharon.

Burial: Temple Beth Israel Cemetery, Hermitage.

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