Joseph Kres Pokempner


On May 13, Joseph Kres Pokempner of Ruxton at 86. He is survived by wife of 53 years Judy; children Elizabeth (Noam Cohen), Jenny and Amy; grandchildren Ethan Maren, and Charlie; and sister Merle (Mark Fleisher). A galvanizing force in the legal community, he received multiple awards and was an active leader in the Maryland State Bar Association. He served as president of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and founded the Baltimore City Courthouse and Law Museum Foundation, acting as its first president. During his tenure, he spearheaded the restoration of the Courthouse’s historic Courtroom 400. A mentor to young lawyers, he also served 20 years as chair of the Memorial Committee of the Bar Association of Baltimore City, which ensured that the memory of every deceased lawyer was honored. He was also a longstanding member of the University of Baltimore Law School Advisory Council. One had only to walk down the street with him in mid-day Baltimore to witness the esteem and fondness those in the legal community felt for “Gentleman Joe.” A third-generation Baltimorean, he loved his city, the Orioles and Ravens, steamed crabs and the Maryland-area beaches, where he spent summers as a child and had his first job calling out bingo numbers as a 9 year old, then as an adult with his wife and family.

Contributions may be made to the University of Maryland School of Law. Gifts can be made online at: or mailed to: University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. Office of Philanthropy Operations 220 Arch St., 13th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.

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