Sherwood V. Cohen, 71, of Elkins Park, a retired ophthalmologist, died Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) at home.

A native of Hudson, N.Y., Dr. Cohen earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a medical degree from State University of New York in Syracuse. He interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and completed an ophthalmology residency at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia.

He established a practice in Northeast Philadelphia in 1965, shortly before he was drafted during the Vietnam War. From 1966 to 1968, he served in Army hospitals in the States.

After his discharge he returned to his practice and treated generations of patients before retiring at the end of 1999. He was on the staffs of Graduate Hospital, Holy Redeemer Hospital, and Rolling Hill Hospital.

Dr. Cohen wrote medical columns for the Jewish Exponent and the Northeast Jewish Times. His letters to the editor appeared in the Exponent and in The Inquirer. He had strong opinions about certain subjects, including medical ethics and the Middle East, said his wife, Judith Silver Cohen.

He was a member of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park and conducted the summer services. He was an avid traveler and a longtime Philadelphia Orchestra subscriber.

In addition to his wife of 43 years, Dr. Cohen is survived by sons Stephen and David; two sisters; and two grandsons.

The funeral was yesterday at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Memorial Chapel, Southampton. Burial was in Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose.