Hilda Bernice Poore passed on to be with the Lord on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. “Bernice” was born on
at Timken Mercy Medical Hospital in Canton, Ohio on September 25, 1956 to Ralph Knight Sr and Carolil
A life-long resident of Canton, Ohio and graduate of McKinley Senior High School, where she then
unknowingly met the love of her life and devoted husband of 23 years, Frederick Poore Jr. She and Fred
would partner on school initiatives including student government serving as Vice President and
President respectively. She loved music and dancing with dear friends Atlandis Walker and Robbie
Barrino who even started their own troupe called, Evolution of Soul.
Bernice was also a gifted writer who wrote under the African penname “Rafiki”, meaning “friend or
comrade.” A fierce advocate for the black community, “Rafiki” used her voice and written word to call
for long overdue justice and equality.
After graduating from McKinley High School, Bernice went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business
administration from Malone University, master’s degree in education from Kent State University. She
would later use her education, passion and skill to launch her own non profit Latter Rain Associates
whose name was inspired by Joel 2:23 “ and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former
rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Latter Rain would launch her beloved after-school feeding
program, Kid’s Café. The program would go on to provide nutritional meals and counsel to countless
children in SE Canton, Ohio. In addition to her entrepreneurship, she was also a devoted Intervention
Specialist for Canton City Schools and graduate of Leadership Stark County.
Bernice valued family and has been described as the “glue” of the Lucas-Sanders-Rushin family. She
loved coordinating reunions, gatherings and the annual Lucas Family Christmas Cookie Exchange started
by her mother, Carolil Lucas. She would often joyfully reminisce of summers spent in Cleveland, Ohio
with beloved cousins Bernard (Linda), Warren, Michael (Sheila) and Genora Lucas. She devoted her life
to family, children in need and of course her beloved eight grandchildren. She was a dignified woman of
profound, unwavering faith. A woman who always put HIM first and witnessed the power of Jesus Christ
even from her hospital bed in the recent weeks. She was a pillar of strength, conviction and values who
will now watch over her beloved family from the comfort of Gods loving arms. WE will celebrate her
amazing life and honor her legacy today and forevermore.
Bernice is preceded in death by grandfather Ezelle Lucas and grandmother Hilda B Lucas, father Ralph
Knight Senior, mother Carolil Lucas and beloved brother Charles Taylor. She is survived by her loving
husband of 23 years, Frederick Poore, sister Charlotte (Wilbur) Williams, brother Richard (Dawn) Knight,
son Damien Hill, daughter Kristin (Alan) Wray, son John Perdue, grandchildren Elijah, Issac, Aaliyah, John
Jr., Arianna, Lillian, Nehemiah, Charity.
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