John Mokotoff

Obituary of John Mokotoff

HUDSON, N.Y. — John “Moke” Mokotoff, scholar, entrepreneur, father, husband and friend, died peacefully Monday, November 14, 2022, at his home in Hudson. He leaves behind his loving wife, Claudia Coenen, and cherished daughter, Sophia Sha Mokotoff, as well as his sister and brother-in-law, Steffi and Bob Berne, niece Lizzie Berne DeGear and nephew Alex Berne, and countless friends and relations he considered his sisters and brothers. Moke was born on June 5, 1950, in Great Neck, N.Y., to Rhoda and Harold Mokotoff. He graduated from the Loomis School and the University of California Berkeley, where he studied expressive art and photography. For more than 40 years Moke studied, collected and dealt in the art of South and Central Asia, including Tibetan art and ritual artifacts, ancient and imperial Chinese textiles, Indian and Nepalese art. It was far more than an appreciation of the visual appeal; as a practitioner of Buddhism, he also understood the doctrinal content and devotional significance of the objects he handled. Moke maintained his own Asian art gallery in New York City from 1980 to 2003. As a collector and art dealer, Moke brought his knowledge of the history behind the art and its creators to museums and private collections around the world. Moke married Huiyun Wang in 1985 and together they raised their beloved daughter, Sophia, in New York City. In 2015 he married Claudia Coenen, adding to his family children, sisters and brothers and, much to his delight, grandchildren. Among his many other qualities, Moke was a compassionate eccentric. He delighted in the unusual and the arcane, both philosophical and material. He always helped underdogs and was a generous, silent patron of monks, monasteries, nunneries and causes near to his ideals. He will be dearly missed. Contributions in Moke’s name can be made to the Hudson River Sailing Community, which develops leadership and academic success in underserved New York City youth through sailing education. Cremation has taken place through the care of Simple Choices, Inc. To leave a special message for the family, please visit:
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