DC Celebrates Dreamer Pollin on Black Friday

Private funeral held for Wizards owner

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Abe Pollin

    Mourners gathered at the Washington Hebrew Congregation in northwest D.C. Friday for a heartfelt farewell to Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin.

    Pollin, who died Tuesday at age 85, was an influential D.C. developer and one of the area's leading philanthropists.

    Saying Goodbye to Abe Pollin

    [DC] Saying Goodbye to Abe Pollin
    Washington D.C. said goodbye to Wizards owner Abe Pollin. He was remembered not just as a sports owner, but a philanthopist who helped revitalize downtown D.C. when he built the Verizon Center.

    The private 90-minute funeral service was filled with personal stories, laughter and tears, all of which painted the picture of an extraordinary man whose compassion touched everyone around him.

    "His son spoke and his granddaughter spoke in the service," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "They spoke beautifully and movingly about how much he cared for them and how much family meant to him. Abe Pollin was a good and decent man who made his community and his world a better place."

    Pollins Continue Making a Mark on the DC Sportscape

    [DC] Pollins Continue Making a Mark on the DC Sportscape
    Irene Pollin helped her husband bring sports to a new level in the nation's capital.

    Two sprays of yellow roses were carried out of the Washington Hebrew Congregation. Robert Pollin told mourners just an hour before his father's death, Abe Pollin had one dozen yellow roses delivered to his wife of 64 years, Irene.

    "It was just a powerful statement about Abe Pollin's life, and that was one of selflessness, of giving, of being a humanitarian and being such a caring person," D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray said.

    Other D.C. leaders and members of the sports community paid their respects to a man of many dimensions.

    "I worked with Abe on development in poorest neighborhoods where he has given a whole building in a neighborhood that is now going up," said Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. "Abe didn't know how to stop giving, and the least we can do is come out and give him our respect this morning."

    Many of those in attendance worked at the Verizon Center -- Pollin's pride and joy -- which helped revitalize the city's downtown, a testament to a man who could hobnob with luminaries without losing his common touch.

    "If you looked around the entire congregation, you know that everyone was there from the people that worked in the front office to the people that handled tickets in the turnstiles, and you could feel the love that they had for him," said Washington Mystics owner Sheila Johnson. "He really truly respected every one of the people that worked in the Verizon Center."

    The Verizon Center will be the scene of a public farewell to Pollin on Dec. 8.