June 27, 1932February 9, 2020

Irene Cohen Harvitz, a lady of distinction, was a loving, giving, caring, sharing individual. She was born June 27th, 1932 in Edmonton, Alberta and was raised in Vancouver, BC. She was the daughter of Rose and Maurice Cohen, the youngest of six children. She married her lifetime love o 68 years, Larry Harvitz, in 1952, and has lived in Bellevue ever since. She was the mother of four children – Michael, Sheryl, Brian and Joshua. Her life was defined by love of family and community.

She was an advocate and activist for those with special needs. She devoted time to working with special needs children in Bellevue schools. Her work with legislature helped to establish the Hot Water Therapy Pool in the city of Bellevue. For this work, she was given the Matrix award, Woman of Achievement in 1998.

To support organizations throughout the Puget Sound region, she hosted fundraisers in her beautiful garden for over 37 different organizations. One of her favorites was a summer luncheon for the Kline Galland Home which she hosted for 25 consecutive years. She had an immense sense of pride in her lovely garden and shared and shared it widely. Her heart was wide open with generosity and love, sharing all that she had.

Irene’s family spanned the globe and one of her greatest achievements was assembling the 2005 Ingathering of the Cohen Dynasty. They were from five continents and six countries with over two hundred people comprising six generations. She orchestrated the family’s genealogy and worked hard to keep her family united. She was deeply proud of everyone’s accomplishments and recognized and remembered each person.

Irene was one of the first and youngest female realtors in Bellevue and was proud to have maintained her license for over 50 years.

At the end of her life, she was satisfied that she had accomplished so much. Irene is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Larry Harvitz, her sons Briand and Joshua, her daughter Sheryl, her granddaughters Adrienne and Melanie, her brother and sister-in-law Bob and Bobbi Bridge, and 26 nieces and nephews. Irene is preceded in death by her son Michael.

The family requests that donations be made to the Kline Galland Home or Temple De Hirsch Sinai.


  • Fumeral Service Tuesday, February 11, 2020
  • Graveside Service Tuesday, February 11, 2020



have a memory or condolence to add?

Zeev Karpas

February 25, 2020

We were sad to see that Irene, the last member of the generation of our grandparents, had passed away. We'll always remember the warm hospitality we received at the 2005 reunion in Seattle. As my wife, Hana, described it "Superb American organization with a Jewish Neshama (soul)".
We'll always cherish her memory.
Hana and Zeev Karpas

Victoria Burkhart

February 11, 2020

Irene Harvitz is the Mother of my good friend Sheryl. Over the years I have been invited to many family parties. Irene was a wonderful hostess at these family parties, and I looked forward to attending them. Joshua's birthday parties were such a delight. I would bring my young daughter to celebrate with family and friends. Irene was a loving mother and a great humanitarian. We will all miss her. With loving thoughts to the family, and to my good friend Sheryl.
Vicki Burkhart