Kochman, Jean (1916-2005)

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Entertaining the troops

The Jean Kochman collection contains a World War II USO scrapbook, material relating to the 1953 centennial for the City of Lawrence, and a bound copy of parts of the newspaper the Sunday Sun containing a column written by Jean’s brother Joseph.  The scrapbook has a list of USO members as well as several pages of photographs of individual members.  Both individuals listed here are the children of Philip and Elizabeth Kochman who were born in the Ukraine and immigrated with Joseph to the United States.  A list of the members and those pictured is available.

Jennie “Jean” M. Kochman was born in Boston, Mass. December 12, 1916.  The family moved to Lawrence.  She attended the Bruce School and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1934.  She married Gershon Salhanick September of 1944 in Providence, RI.  From the 1950s to the 1980s she worked at several Lawrence stores and was a buyer and manager for Coty’s Cosmetics at Glovers’s and later at Russem’s.  She later worked at the Elder Services of Merrimack Valley during the 1980s and 1990s.

Jean was a member of Temple Emanuel in Andover, Massachusetts and taught Hebrew School there.  She was the president of the Jr. USO in Lawrence during the 2nd World War, contributing more than 5000 hours of volunteer service.  She led a senior citizen group visiting nursing homes with activities and small gifts throughout the Merrimack Valley.  She was known as the “honorary poet” for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for writing safety slogans for inspection stickers.  She also served as an election official for thirty years.   She died September 29, 2004.

Joseph Kochman was born 1905 in the Ukraine.  He immigrated with his parents to the United States as a child.  He attended both Bentley School of Accounting and Boston University.  He originally worked as an insurance inspector for Metropolitan Life and later in a civil service position before entering the service.  He trained at Camp Lee in Virginia for service in the 2nd World War as a quartermaster. He wrote a column Scriptease “by talk it off” for the Lawrence Sunday Sun from 1943 until just before he died. He also worked as a watchman for the Lawrence Public Properties and Parks Department.  He died in Lawrence November 3, 1950.

To see the members of the USO chapter: members

One Response

  1. […] of members of the local USO chapter during World War […]

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