Mary Baker Marks
September 3, 2021

Visitation Information

September 5 2021 - 11:30 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside) Pittsburgh 15232

Funeral Information

September 5 2021 - 1:00 pm
Ralph Schugar Chaepl, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue (Shadyside) 15232

MARY BAKER MARKS: On Friday, September 3, 2021. Born in the Lower Hill District of Pittsburgh on June 11, 1926, Mary Baker Marks was the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Baker of Lithuanian descent. Mary’s immigrant mother lost her spouse at a young age, leaving Sarah to raise seven children on her own, relying on perseverance, strength, and belief in G-d, qualities that she passed on to Mary. Mary assisted her mom by working in a grocery store after school and weekends for $4 per week. Upon graduation from Fifth Avenue High School, Mary took a position with Cazen’s, a wholesale Kosher food distributor, and at the same time, attended evening classes at the University of Pittsburgh. At 18, Mary wed the first love of her life, Karl Zlotnik, with whom she had two children, Joanne (the late Jeffrey Pobiner) and Stanley (Nikol). Tragedy struck their blissful life at an early stage and Karl, at age 27, passed away from rheumatic heart disease.  Like her mom, Mary was widowed at a young age. With a 3-year old daughter and 12-month old son, Mary continued to work as a bookkeeper with Cazen’s and then with B & L Sour Cream. Well appreciated and highly esteemed by her boss, he introduced her to his close friend, Herbert “Marky” Marks. In 1956, several years after Karl’s death, they married. Her third child, David (Dori), was born in 1958. Mary then took an accounting job with Children’s Hospital, a position she held until Herbert’s health began to decline. At age 57, Mary retired and became a full-time caregiver for her husband. Four years later, twice widowed, she chose not to return to her professional career, but instead concentrated on her grandchildren and volunteer work. Well known for her wit, sense of humor, and big heart, she devoted her time to Children’s Hospital and the Jewish Community Center, where she became a fixture. An early participant in the JCC Yiddish class, she was asked to assume teaching responsibilities for one year. One year turned into twenty-five years based on her enormous following. With attendance standing-room only regularly, her classes always ended with an off-color Yiddish joke. Mary also volunteered with the JCC Friendship Line where she was tasked with calling on two or three senior citizens and wishing them a good Sabbath each Friday.  In a short time, those two or three calls grew to over three hundred weekly Sabbath calls. As a result, she became affectionately known as “Shabbos Mary” with people near and far hoping to make her call list. The recipient of several service awards, including the Lillian Goldstein Senior Volunteer Leadership Award, Jewish Association on Aging Eight Over Eighty, Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh’s Tribute for Three, and Technion Women’s Division Outstanding Dedication Award, Mary also was a life member of Hadassah, Na’Amat, and Weinberg Ladies Auxiliary, where she coordinated their benevolent fund. The longest living tenant of the Maxon Towers, building management and her neighbors recognized her as the “Maxon Mayor” along with neighbor and former Pittsburgh mayor, Sophie Masloff. A steadfast and trusted friend to many, she frequently coordinated dinner and entertainment outings with the Maxon Towers group called “Friends Forever.”  Mary was a devoted sister to her lone surviving sibling, Rose Thompson, as well as her predeceased siblings, Sam Baker, Donald Baker, Esther Karpo, Sylvia Karpo, and Sally Chudacoff. More than anything else, her calling was the role of mother and grandmother. She served this role with an umatched excellence and distinction, an adoring and loving mother and then grandmother to her eight grandchildren, including Joshua Marks (Brooke), Jordan Marks (Zohar), Ben Marks, Dustin Marks, Adam Marks, Shawn Pobiner (Lisa), Todd Pobiner, and Dana Feldman (Michael). The matriarch of the family, she also was a doting great-grandmother to her four great-grandchildren, Jeffrey Pobiner, Sloan Marks, Jacob Feldman, and Dylan Feldman. Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Sunday at 1 PM. Visitation one and one half hours prior to services, (11:30 AM - 1 PM). (MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE REQUIRED FOR VISITATION AND SERVICE). Interment Tiphereth Israel Cemetery. Contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, Chabad of Squirrel Hill, Western Pennsylvania Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Stanley M. Marks Endowed Research Fund at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.


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Mary was a warm, delightful individual whom I met here at Maxon Towers. She was very proud of her family.

By Martha Raak - September 05, 2021

Mary was such a special person, a true Eshes Chayil. Our families have connections going way back to Hillel Academy. Since I moved to Maxon Towers, Mary has been a warm, loving friend with an amazing capacity to enjoy life and with great humor and wit. I will miss her dearly and send my deepest sympathies to you.

By Sheri Engelberg Sable - September 05, 2021

Mary was a warm, delightful individual whom I met here at Maxon Towers. She was very proud of her family.

By Martha Raak - September 04, 2021

I am so sorry to learn of Mary\'s death. She was always warm, welcoming and thoughtful. She will be missed here at the Maxon.

By Connie Rapp - September 04, 2021

Your mom was the first person I met when I moved into the Maxon. She was a dear person and I will miss her. My condolences to your whole family.

By Doris Braun - September 04, 2021

We are saddened by this tremendous loss and we have the family in our prayers.

By Shelda and Tom Witt - September 04, 2021

I am so sad to learn of the passing of my dear Shabbos friend, Mary. May the fond memories of life with a special lady, sustain you.

By Bobbee Kramer - September 04, 2021

Dear Cousins, I am very sorry to hear of the loss of our dear Aunt Mary. She was a warm light for all of us who knew and loved her. I am sorry not to be in Pittsburgh to honor and celebrate her life on Sunday. May her memory be a blessing to all of us and to all who knew her. Love, Rona

By Rona Marks Dalin - September 04, 2021

Joann and Family So very sorry to be reading about your Mom. She lived a rather remarkable and long life. May her memory be a blessing for all.

By Emelie Berlin Schwab - September 03, 2021

Dear sweet Mary. I was so honored to be a recipient of your Shabbos calls. My sympathy to your family. May you Rest in Peace. elaine berkowitz

By Elaine Berkowitz - September 03, 2021