By COLlive reporter
Chaim Eliezer (Howard L) Hakohen Cohen, longtime Crown Heights resident who lived a long life full of meaning and learning, passed away on Sunday, 23 Nissan, 5779.
He was 91.
Chaim Lazer was born on April 22nd, 2 Iyar, 1928, in Maimonides (then known as Israel Zion) Hospital, and grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the elder of two sons of Freida Chaya and Yitzchok Issac (Francis and Izadore) Cohen.
He attended PS 215, Junior High 228 (where he was friends with Maurice Sendak), and Lafayette High School, all in Brooklyn, and graduated in 1946.
He then attended NYC College of Technology, becoming first a draftsman, and while working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard became a Naval Architect, developing plans on the modification of aircraft carriers being built there. With the Navy Yard closing in 1965 he continued his studies at Polytechnic School of Engineering and upon graduating became a civil engineer working as a civilian for the Army Corps of Engineers.
He met and married Esther Tallering in 1954, and they had four children: Moshe Shepsi, Hinda Chana, Yaakov Dovid and Yitzchak Izak. Esther at an early age died in 1971, when Shepsi was just 13 and Izak age 6.
In 1977 he met and married Hinda Sjochet, who came into the marriage with 2 sons of her own, Dov and Daniel. Together they had Chaya Mushka.
He has lived in Crown Heights, right behind his beloved 770, since 1972, moving there from East Flatbush. There he welcomed many guests into his home, which became an open house for many people who ate, stayed or just visited there.
Back then, Crown Heights’ Lubavitch community was a much smaller, more intimate place and Chaim Lazer attended the Rashag’s Shalosh Sheudos upstairs in 770 every Shabbat where he was honored with the Birchas Hamazon with a cup of wine, which ultimately led him to lead the Havdalah with the same cup of wine for the Rebbe at the end of the Rebbe’s maariv Minyan.
770 is the center of Chabad Lubavitch and, for many years, the center of Chaim Lazer’s life. He was constantly asked to give the Kohen’s brocha, of which he always obliged and honored to do so.
He is survived by his wife, Hinda and children: Chaya Mushka, along with Moshe Shepsi, Hinda Chana, Yaakov Dovid, Yitzchak Izak and Dov, grandchildren and great-grandhchildren.
Chaim Lazer ultimately had 27 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
The levaya will take place Monday, gathering 9:30 am at Shomrei Hadas in Boro Park, 10 am depart Shomrei Hadas, 10:45 am passing by 770 Eastern Parkway, to To Montefiore Cemetery.
Shiva will take place at the Cohen residence at 1439 Union St bet Brooklyn & Kingston Ave from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm daily. Minyanim will be at their appropriate times.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.