Wednesday 30 January 2013

Dollard cartoonist Sheldon Cohen loses his battle with cancer

Funeral services were held last week for Dollard des Ormeaux resident Sheldon Cohen, the founder  of the highly popular Sheltoons, He launched the    business   in 1988 as an educational tool for kids to learn cartoon art and it took off like a jet, serving schools, communities and facilitating party activities across Quebec and Ontario.

Earl and Sheldon in London, England.

In a 2004 story on him on a website called The Cultural Gutter, writer Guy Leshinski wrote how Sheldon had quit his day job managing a pharmacy to wax scatological with a roomful of 10-year-olds. He’d always been cartooning, working part-time for an animation company when he wasn’t minding the drugstore. One summer, he landed a job tooning with kids at a camp. The sessions went so well, he decided to set up his own operation. He rented a small office and began offering private classes. When 90 kids overran the tiny space his first month in business, he knew he was on to something. “They take drawing and painting at school, but cartooning is a good base to learn how to draw,” Sheldon told Leshinski. “You work a little bit with light, shadow, and you can practise with your notepad at home  while you’re watching TV.”

At the funeral, many of Sheldon’s closest friends spoke.  Dollard’s Earl Eichenbaum, the founder of Total  Events and Entertainment, was torn to pieces as he spoke about their lifelong connection. Sheldon found out he had stage three colorectal cancer more than eight years ago and battled hard each and every day, never looking for sympathy. There was a lot of talk about a surprise 50th birthday party family and friends held. Eichenbaum remembered asking if he was surprised. “I am,” he responded. “I am surprised I made it to 50.”
Last June, with Sheldon recognizing that no treatment would work for him anymore, he accepted an invitation from Earl to travel to Europe. They went to London and then Paris. “I can’t believe I am here,” Eichenbaum quoted Sheldon as saying as they looked at the Eiffel Tower. “Now my life is complete.”

Noted Chartered Accountant Steve Moses spoke about how he and his wife Rhonda met Sheldon and his wife Reesa at a pool on the West Island.  A friendship was forged that day 10 years ago and remained strong till the end. Steve even slept at the St. Mary's Hospital in Sheldon's final days.

I had the pleasure of knowing Sheldon and when I would see him over the past eight years, he was always asking how I was. Sheldon never looked for sympathy. When there was illness in my family,  I received offers from him. "What can I do?" The man was a saint. To his wife Reesa, his two boys and his parents, my deepest sympathies.

Another dream come true for Sheldon when he went to Fenway Park with friend Steve Moses last August.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing such a beautiful article on my nephew, Sheldon. He really was an exceptional human being. During his last weeks at St. Mary's Hospital, he was surrounded by friends and family who adored him. The nurses were in awe of the number of people spending hours and hours at his hospital bed. Up to a couple of weeks before his death, he was cracking jokes and making everyone laugh. We will all miss him terribly.

    Mayda & Les Cohen