Obituary: Joanne “Jody” D. Clark

Joanne “Jody” D. Clark

GARDINER – Joanne “Jody” D. Clark passed away peacefully at Glenridge Long Term Care in Augusta on August 4, 2022. Jody was born May 26, 1932 in Gardiner, daughter of John Henry and Evelyn Harris Daley and big sister to a “teasing annoying” of a little brother, Jack H. Daley.

Jody spent her childhood and early school years in her beloved “Tillsbury Town” (Gardiner). Upon entering high school, Joanne attended and graduated from the Northfield School for Girls (Northfield Mount Hermon) in 1950 and the University of Maine at Orono in 1954, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education. While dating Northfield, Jody met her good friend and roommate Polly, whose future husband, Earl Flansburgh, designed the house where Joanne and Ralph M. Clark, her husband of nearly 69 years, lived. They met in college and were married on June 14, 1952.

Faith, family, friends and community have been the cornerstones of Joanne’s life, and it is impossible to list the many and varied activities to which she devoted her talent and energy throughout her 90 years. . Jody has shared her “joie de vivre”, her love of history and lifelong learning while teaching US and Maine history classes for MSAD #11 Adult Education, College SAT Preparing for the University of Maine at Augusta and leading school visits to the Fort Western Museum.

As an active member of the community, you might frequently find Joanne working with her good friend, Dorothy Washburn, to preserve Gardiner’s history as co-chair of numerous committees: Gardiner Summer Concert Series, Day on the Gardiner Common, Gardiner Historic House Tours, Incorporator and Member of the Friends of Gardiner Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Gardiner Bicentennial Committee.

Her volunteer and membership work was as varied as Joanne’s interests and passions: scout leader of the Brownie Troops, junior and cadet, former president of the Cushnoc Association and board member of the Kennebec Council, American Guild of Organists, Augusta Symphony Friends, Maine Historical Society, Gardiner Historians Preservation Committee and Secretary of the Gardiner Library Association, to name a few. She even spent a brief stint writing a weekly “Around the Valley” column for the Portland Sunday Telegram.

Whether in her role as organist of Christ Church for 38 years or simply backing songs at home with close family friends Carrie and Murray K. Stevens, Sr., music was Joanne’s passion. Family gatherings weren’t complete without a musical number from “Bon Jody,” as his grandchildren affectionately called him.

When she wasn’t seated at an organ or piano bench, you could well Joanne enjoying weekly bridge matches, reading her favorite newspapers set aside especially for her by Ainslie’s Market or recounting summer memories of ‘beloved childhoods spent on the coast at Pemiquid, Bremen and ‘Scotty’ (damariscotta).

She was the “best mom” and grandmother to her three daughters and their spouses, Debra C. and Michael S. Susi, Mary Jo and Murray K. Stevens, Jr., and Melinda Clark; his grandchildren Michael Clark Susi, Meredith Lynn Susi, Carissa Marie Bard, Lesley Jean Stevens; six great-grandchildren; and his “adopted daughter of his heart”, Melody Beckwith. Her family is convinced that Joanne enjoys and plays heavenly music, as well as a few games of bridge in her next life.

Visiting hours will be Friday, August 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at Christ Church Episcopal in Gardiner, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. A private family burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at the Glenridge Comfort Care Unit, staff at Maine General Hospice and The Balsam House for their care.

Arrangements are in the custody of Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website:

Those who wish to remember Joanne in a special way can make donations in her memory to:

Christ Church Episcopal,

2 Dresdenlaan,

Gardiner, ME 04345

Organ fund

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