Marion J. Pokrass

Lewisburg-Marion J. Pokrass, who had lived in Lewisburg since December 2009, died Thursday, May 19, 2016, after an illness of three weeks. She was 85.

Born in Baltimore on Mar. 11, 1931, Marion was the daughter of the late Meyer and Lena Jacobs.

Marion, who was agnostic, was proud of her Jewish cultural heritage. She was also proud of her involvement in the civil rights movement during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. A member of CORE (The Congress of Racial Equality) she picketed segregated Baltimore restaurants and was arrested for participating in a peaceful sit-in at a whites-only amusement park in Baltimore in 1963. The park agreed to open its gates to everyone later that year. She took part in the famous March on Washington in August of 1963.

Marion’s father, Meyer, was killed in a robbery in his neighborhood store when she was eight years old. She grieved for him her entire life.

She began her college career part-time as a young mother and eventually received degrees from American University and Howard University in Washington, DC.

During a long career as a psychiatric social worker, she helped many patients, including recovering alcoholics, newly released prisoners, and children who were victims of sexual abuse and their families, working for the State of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Hospital. In later years, she saw patients privately, at an office in her Baltimore home.

Marion moved to West Virginia in 2009 to be closer to her son, Michael Bardoff, of Renick. Marion grew to love living in West Virginia, greatly enjoying the people she met and the state’s natural beauty and its mild summers compared to steamy Baltimore. During her West Virginia years, she loved her dogs, interior design, watching the birds on her back deck, reading and watching PBS and C-Span’s Book TV. She supported Doctors Without Borders, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Her first marriage, to Charles Bardoff, ended in divorce.

Marion’s closest survivors are: her son, Michael; her brother, Alan Jacobs of Mesa, AZ and wife Joan; her cousins, Cyrile and Abby Smith of Gaithersburg, MD and Springfield, VA; Michael Jacobs of Miechow, Poland; Marcy Jacobs of Portland, OR; Philip Rocker of London, England and Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs of Cracow, Poland; her friends, Connie Schulz of Rockport, ME; Liz Pearce of Columbia, MD; Autumn Wooling of Falling Springs, WV; Keith Boyd of Renick and Debbie Derkotch of Clifton Forge, VA; and her dog, Bailee and her grand dog, Ben. She also made many good friends in the Lewisburg Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, of which her son is a member.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Fred Pokrass, her cousin Peggy Polk and her beloved dog Corky.

A memorial event will be held for Marion in Baltimore sometime this summer.

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