Cover photo for Mary Elizabeth Drabkin's Obituary
1931 Mary 2020

Mary Elizabeth Drabkin

July 27, 1931 — October 25, 2020

Mary Elizabeth Drabkin (née Hooper), 89, passed away in her native Portland, Oregon on October 25, 2020. She was born on July 27, 1931, the second of two children of William and Elizabeth Hooper. Mary was the proud sister to her beloved older brother William Hooper, who passed away on January 9, 2006. She will be remembered as an adventurous and incredibly strong person with an inquisitive nature, love of the written word and a warm heart.

Mary attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. There, she pursued her lifelong passions for poetry and literature, which was fostered under the tutelage of future U.S. Poet Laureate Professor William Stafford. Mary moved to New York City after graduating, where she later met and married one of the most brilliant bankruptcy and tax attorneys of his day, Murray Drabkin. In fact, Murray and Mary met while Mary was working for the world-renowned architect Marcel Breuer on a building project that led to a legal case, which was ultimately argued by Murray before the United States Supreme Court.

After living in Washington Mews in Greenwich Village while Murray was Deputy Mayor of New York City, Murray’s illustrious legal career led them to Washington, DC. Mary’s adventurous spirit and love of history inspired her to become a licensed professional tour guide which took her to places all around the world, including Africa, Europe and Asia. In fact, she was an expert on the many historical statues in Washington and was even interviewed by The Today Show. But ultimately, her heart was always at home as a devoted and loyal wife to Murray. In 1994, they purchased and lovingly restored an 18th-century farmhouse in Trappe, Maryland. The farm was a place where Mary could pursue her love of gardening, spend time in nature with her beloved German shepherd Ben and read peacefully with a lovely view of Island Creek.

On February 3, 2013, Murray, the love of her life and husband of 42 years, passed away. Not too long after, she was involved in a serious car accident. This led Mary to move back to her native Portland in November of 2014 to be surrounded by her family and lifelong friends. She is survived by her nephews Greg Hooper of Jefferson, Oregon, and Garth Hooper of Gresham, Oregon, her sister-in-law Charlotte Drabkin Garrell, nephews Peter and Charlie Garrell and niece Elizabeth Garrell Bacon, and a number of great-nieces, great-nephews and other extended family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Elizabeth Drabkin, please visit our flower store.

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