OBITUARY: Dr. Louis A. Pocharski

When Dr. Louis Anthony Pocharski was a boy growing up in Salem Willows, he transformed an old dinghy into a racing boat, complete with a sail his mother had sewn from a bed sheet. His sailing prowess grew from there: Lou went on to win numerous local, regional and national regattas, as well as the 1967 Lightning World Championship.

Dr. Louis A. Pocharski

The oldest son of Louis Sr. and Estelle (Lotarski) Pocharski, Lou graduated from Tufts University where he played varsity hockey and was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. He then received a doctor of dental surgery degree from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. His foray to the Midwest brought him to Nancy Hartwig, a University of Michigan graduate student who would become his loving wife (and occasional sailboat crew) of 50-plus years.

Lou opened his oral surgery practice at Salem Hospital. He joined the Salem Rotary Club, where he served a term as president.

Lou and Nancy settled in Marblehead, where they had two children, Mark Walter and Susan Stephanie. Much time was spent on the water in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Lou’s retirement years were equally active, playing competitive golf near their winter getaway in Amelia Island, Florida, and watching over five grandchildren — Noelle Lena, Christopher Wyatt, Amelia Catherine, Aidan Louis and Shaun Callum — and enjoying the company of his daughter-in-law (Sandra) and son-in-law (Marpa).

Dr. Pocharski died on July 21, 2023, at age 90, surrounded by his children, who will remember him for his strength, competence, love and indomitable spirit. Lou was predeceased by his wife, Nancy, in 2021.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Neighborhood Care, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy for the Pocharski family may be shared at

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  • Biff Michaud

    I am very saddened to read about the death of my long time friend, doctor and neighbor Louis. He was such a cool and caring guy while being very competitive in sailing. I remember his beautiful sailboat “SPIRIT” with Louis proudly and happily at the helm with his very competitive crew. He lived his life with grace, dignity and class. I want his family to know that I care, he was quite a guy!!

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