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  • Remembering Jackie Hoke

Remembering Jackie Hoke

Jackie Hoke

We received an email from Mary Ellen Moir about the passing of her mother, Jackie Hoke.  Mary Ellen writes,

"My mother, Jackie Hoke, a long time rug hooker, passed away on December 4, 2015, at the age of 93 and a half.  Rug hooking was a very important part of her life.  She designed and created many beautiful hooked items that her family will enjoy for generations.  She particularly enjoyed her many trips to the Green Mountain Rug School with her friends, to learn new techniques and make new friends."

Jackie will be missed by the Green Mountain community.  

Jackie's full obituary is below:

Jacquelyn Rusen Hoke
April 22, 1922 – December 4, 2015

Jacquelyn (“Jackie”) Hoke, nee Mary Jacquelyn Rusen, 93, died Friday, December 4, of congestive heart failure after a four month illness.

Born in 1922, Jackie was raised in Moundsville, WV.  She majored in music at The Carnegie Tech College of Fine Arts (now Carnegie Mellon University) from which she graduated in 1944.  She concentrated in voice and spent a summer at the Julliard School of Music.  She moved to the Washington, DC area after receiving her degree and taught Music and English at Leland Jr. High School in Bethesda, MD until her marriage to Julius Unverzagt Hoke in 1946 in Arlington, VA.  They were married for 60 years, until his death in 2006.  They designed and built their house in Silver Spring, MD, where they raised four children.  They established their own small orchard and vegetable garden which supplied a wide variety of fruits and vegetables for themselves and for their family farm stand.

Jackie and her husband were active in the Montgomery County Civic Federation and the Metropolitan Area Council of Civic Federations.  She was a member of the Montgomery County Committee for Fair Representation (of which Julius was President) which belonged to the Maryland Committee for Fair Representation, the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case Maryland Committee for Fair Representation v. Tawes, 377 U.S. 656, 84 S.Ct. 1429, 12 L.Ed.2d 595 (1964).  This decision changed the way the Maryland legislature was apportioned so that all Maryland citizens were fairly represented and it affected the make-up of state legislatures nationwide.  This case will remain relevant as long as Americans vote.  It was most recently been cited in the redistricting cases currently pending before the US Supreme Court.

During the 1960s, Julius and Jackie Hoke also were founding members of the Nonpartisans for a Better Montgomery County, an organization whose purpose was to elect nonpartisan members to the Montgomery County Council.  This movement strongly affected the election and subsequent decisions of the Council.

Jackie Hoke was a 56 year member of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, starting in 1959.  She was a loyal, dedicated, and active member of the Patuxent Unit, serving in several official positions.  At various times, she was Montgomery County Membership Chair, Treasurer, and Chair of the Fair Housing Committee.  She progressed to the Maryland State League, serving as Treasurer and Chair of the Fair Housing Committee.  She monitored the MD Real Estate Commission, which at that time had only realtors as members, and was instrumental in the League’s successful efforts to pass legislation changing the makeup of the Real Estate Commission.  She became a lobbyist before the State Legislature on fair housing standards, safety, and health issues.  She also monitored and fostered new Leagues in the state.  She was pivotal in starting and developing the Allegany County League in Frostburg.

When Idamae Garrott ran for state senate, Jackie resigned her League offices and became Mrs. Garrott’s volunteer campaign manager.  With Jackie’s tireless help, Mrs. Garrott won two terms as a state senator.

Jackie was an active fund raiser for the League, participating in annual calendar and flower bulb sales, and in a volunteer catering group that raised thousands of dollars for the League over twenty years.

In addition to these civic activities, Jackie and Julius also delivered meals on wheels in Montgomery County from 1977 to 2005.

After moving to Howard County in 1988, Jackie and Julius joined the Howard County Citizens Association.  Together they worked on rezoning issues to protect rural areas and prevent the overdevelopment of Clarksville.

Jackie was a member of the Association of Traditional Hooking Artists, and, subsequently, of the Potomac Thrummers, a local rug hooking group, since its inception in 1984.  She designed and executed complicated and colorful rugs which were both decorative and practical.  Her designs were based upon American Indian and oriental motifs as well as local scenes.  She traveled to local and national workshops to learn new rug hooking techniques and expand her knowledge of wool cutting and dying.  She designed and hooked several ornaments which hung on the Christmas tree at the Smithsonian, and are now in the permanent collection there.  Her rugs were displayed locally in libraries, churches, and other venues.

Jackie and Julius traveled extensively, visiting every state in the US and every province of Canada.  They also traveled throughout Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, China, and Japan.

She was an avid environmentalist and delighted in gardening, caring especially for her many varieties of daffodils and iris.  Her gardens produced thousands of flowers, many of which she gave to friends and donated to local churches.  In her later years, she joined the iris society and participated in their program to develop new varieties.

She supported many cultural, civic, and environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Amnesty International, ACLU, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, The Enoch Pratt Library, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, The Foundation for Fighting Blindness, the American Heart Association, Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department, Sandy Spring Slave Museum, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and she was an early and faithful contributor to public television and radio.

Attending performances by the Washington National Opera and the Baltimore Opera Company gave her great pleasure.  She also enjoyed opera broadcasts until her death.

Jacquelyn Hoke was predeceased by her husband, Julius Hoke, and her two sisters, Bettyanne Rusen and Joan Earley.  She is survived by her four children: Richard Hoke of Cooksville, MD, Donald Hoke of Dallas, TX, Anne Hoke of Clarksville, MD, and Mary Ellen Moir of Boston, MA, two granddaughters, and a nephew, Steve Earley of Leesburg, VA.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Montgomery County League of Women Voters, 12216 Parklawn Drive, Suite 105, Rockville, MD 20852-1710,, or Colesville Meals on Wheels, 13100 Andrew Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904,

Jackie's Rugs:

Comments on this post (4)

  • Dec 30, 2015

    Sorry to hear of your loss. They were great people I shared many fun hours in the pool at green mountain with jackie

    — Joan wheeler

  • Dec 30, 2015

    So sorry for your loss. She sounded like a great woman. Thoughts and prayers with you.

    — Jane Kloosterman

  • Dec 30, 2015

    Wow,,,, thats quite a lady!! What a busy, wonderful active life she lived!! Lovely to read,,,,

    — Elaine allerton

  • Dec 30, 2015

    Wow,,,, thats quite a lady!! What a busy, wonderful active life she lived!! Lovely to read,,,,

    — Elaine allerton

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