Marion J. Pokrass, 85, who lived in Lewisburg, WV, since December 2009, died Thursday, May 19, 2016, after an illness of three weeks.
Born in Baltimore, MD, on March 11, 1931, Marion was the daughter of 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 1950s and early 1960s. A member of CORE (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 small neighborhood store when she was 8 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, D.C.
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 West Virginia, greatly enjoying the people she met, the state’s natural beauty, and its mild summers compared to those in steamy Baltimore. During her West Virginia years, she loved her dogs, designing the interior of her home, 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 Bardoff; her brother, Alan Jacobs and wife, Joan, of Mesa, AZ; 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 and Clarence Shulz of Port Clyde, ME, Liz Pearce of Columbia, MD, Autumn Wooling of Falling Springs, WV, Keith Boyd of Renick, WV, and Debbie Derkotch of Clifton Forge, VA. Marion also made many good friends in the Lewisburg congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, of which her son is a member. She is also survived by her beloved dog, Bailee, and her granddog, Ben.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Fred Pokrass; her cousins, Fermin Rocker and Peggy Polk; and her beloved dog, Corky.
A memorial event will be held for Marion in Baltimore sometime this summer.
Information submitted by Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg.
Obituary originally published in the May 27, 2016, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.