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SAROFF, Dr. Marie Iqbal Jabbar

SAROFF - Dr. Marie Iqbal Jabbar (April 16, 1928 - October 1, 2019). Dr. Saroff was born to Kitty Guha (1895-1956) a botanist and principal of a girl's school and Dr. Syed Abdul Jabbar (1895-1962) who specialized in Radiology, on April 16, 1928 in Hyderabad City, Telangana (Erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad Deccan) India. Her mother was Jewish and her father was Muslim. She excelled at School, ultimately obtaining her Medical Degree from The Christian Medical College Vellore in 1952. Her name was Iqbal Marriam Jabbar but the nuns at the Most Holy Rosary Convent where she attended elementary school, changed it to Marie. In 1956 she came to the United States to do her residency at the University of Missouri. Here she met Dr. Jacob "Jack" Saroff who was a PhD student in Biochemistry at the University of Missouri. They married in 1956. Jack was Assistant Director of the Prostatic Cancer Project at Roswell Park until he died in 1977. Remarkably, Marie was a woman of color who came to the U.S. to practice medicine in the 1950s, often enduring subtle racism of which she never spoke and about which she never complained. Dr. and Dr. Saroff lived in Salt Lake City, UT, Brooklyn, NY and then finally settling in Buffalo in 1960. Dr. Marie Saroff worked at Children's Hospital in the 1960s. The Saroffs lived in Cincinnati, OH between 1965 and 1971 where she worked at Hamilton County Diagnostic Clinic where she specialized in working with children with Downs Syndrome. Returning to Buffalo, Dr Saroff was a Physician at Erie County Medical Center, then Meyer Memorial Hospital throughout the 1970s. Ultimately, she worked at Sisters Hospital and did not retire until she was 81 years old in 2009. Dr. Saroff was an inspiration to so many, young and old. She traveled the world, from the Galapagos Islands to the Czech Republic. Her home was filled to the rafters with books of which she read every one and souvenirs from her travels. With her thirst for knowledge and zest for life, she had many, many friends. She entertained frequently, providing a place for people to meet, talk, laugh and share experiences. If she met someone new to the area, she made it a point to introduce them to other people creating a network of interesting and varied friends from all over the world. She was an exuberant and often times terrible (experimental) cook. But what she lacked in ability she made up for with innovation, enthusiasm and gusto. Her haphazard attempts ranged from Moroccan Cuisine to Kraft Macaraoni and Cheese...Vin Blanc (I'm trying to say, she added white wine to the orange powder). Never let it be said that she didn't think outside the box. She didn't even see the box. What box? As learned as she was, she had a huge capacity for fun and mischief. We will relish telling stories of her eccentricity and quirkiness for many, many years to come. Dr. Saroff was one of four children. Two died in infancy. She is survived by her most beloved family: younger sister, Dr. Afzal Jehan Friese of Delhi, India; her children David and Rahel (R.K.); daughter-in-law Marlyn, of Dominican Republic; son-in-law Richard, of England; grandchildren Niko, Kyla, Jazzy and Joey; her great-grandchildren Kendra and Giovanni; her nephew Kai Friese, niece Laila Friese. From her late husband's family: nephews Howard Tabankin, Kenny Tabankin, Keith Saroff; nieces Shelly Laterza and Nancy Saroff; and a wide and loving group of amazing friends. This is a life well lived. A Celebration of her Life will be held (date and venue yet to be decided). For further information contact Rahel K. Saroff at

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