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The Amazing Life Story of Townehouse resident Phyllis “Cookie” Dimant

Posted on: November 20, 2021

Meet Townehouse resident Phyllis “Cookie” Dimant – an amazing life story indeed!

Cookie was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1937 to Cy and Emma Korentajer. When Cookie was ten years old her family fled the Nazis, eventually making their way to the United States with stops in China and Japan. Growing up in Los Angeles, she enjoyed taking ballet classes and she graduated from Beverly Hills High School.

Cookie met her husband Mark Dimant in Los Angeles, where he and his mother had settled after becoming liberated from the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp. When Mark’s father saw Phyllis, he named her “Takaya Kukla,” which means “such a doll.” Her husband later shortened her name to “Cookie”. Mark and Cookie married in 1956. They were married 56 years when Mark died from prostate cancer.

Shortly after her husband’s obituary ran in the newspaper, Cookie received a note from retired dentist John P. Arnold. Arnold had seen that Mark Dimant was a Jewish survivor of Gunskirchen Lager, a Nazi concentration camp in Austria that was liberated in May of 1945 by the 71st Division of the Army. In 1945, Arnold was a 19-year-old infantry soldier in the 71st Division. After Arnold sent Cookie the note, she called the retired dentist, and they found out that for years, they lived within blocks of each other in Oxnard!

“Who knows? Maybe we passed each other at Albertsons or some other store,” said Diane Arnold, who sat and listened as her husband and Cookie exchanged recollections of a horrific time.

Two men inexorably tied together by war had lived within walking distance of one another in Oxnard. Only after one died did their stories join again. Cookie was sympathetic. She said her husband rarely would talk about his experiences in the Holocaust.

Cookie later donated some of her husband’s belongings from World War II to the Holocaust Museum to make sure the memories are preserved.

Today Cookie enjoys her community at Temple Beth Torah. She attends with her special friend Gerard, who she refers to as her adopted son.

Cookie has three children, nine grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting blankets and donates them to Project Linus. Project Linus is a nationwide charity that provides love, security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill. Oh! and she just made a new friend. “Oreo” Oreo and Cookie go together!

Phyllis "Cookie" Dimant practicing ballet as a young girl
Phyllis “Cookie” Dimoant practicing ballet as a young girl
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  • My grandmother lives at the Ventura Townehouse and I feel confident that she is in good hands. They get her to her appointments and provide any aftercare that she may need. Everyone there is friendly and like family. I feel like I’m at home when I go there to visit her and eat with her in the dining room.

    Stacy B.
  • Recently, I visited my Mom from Chicago. Each day I offered to take us out and about in Ventura. We found ourselves having such an enjoyable time at the Townehouse we didn’t leave. The dining room was so lovey to enjoy with her friends. Patios welcoming and the activities kept us busy. We laughed and had fun all day! Thank you everyone for making me feel at home and making my visit special. It’s always hard to leave my mom. But not as hard when I know she is so happy! Until my next visit!

    Janie H.
  • Staff is very helpful and always concerned about my Mother’s needs, the interior and grounds maintenance is exceptional. Dining provides healthy menus to choose from. Front desk staff is always friendly and helpful. Best decision we ever made was bringing my mom here.

    Kelvin F.