GARDINER – Joanne “Jody” D. Clark died peacefully at Glenridge Long Term Care in Augusta on August 4, 2022. Jody was born on May 26, 1932, in Gardiner, the daughter of John Henry and Evelyn Harris Daley and big sister to a “pesky tease” of a little brother, Jack H. Daley.
Jody spent her childhood and formative school years in her beloved “Tillsbury Town” (Gardiner). Upon entering high school, Joanne attended and graduated from 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 attending Northfield, Jody met her good friend and roommate Polly, whose future husband, Earl Flansburgh, designed the home 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 were the cornerstones of Joanne’s life, and it is impossible to list the numerous and varied activities she contributed her talent and energies to throughout her 90 years. Jody shared her “zest for life”, love of history and life-long learning by teaching US and Maine History courses for MSAD #11 Adult Education, College SAT Preparation for University of Maine at Augusta and directing school tours at Fort Western Museum.
As an active community member, you could frequently find Joanne working with her good friend, Dorothy Washburn, to preserve Gardiner History as co-chair for numerous committees: Gardiner Summer Concert Series, Day on the Gardiner Common, Gardiner Historic House Tours, Incorporator and Board Member of Friends of Gardiner and Co-Chair of the Gardiner’s Bicentennial Committee.
Her volunteer and membership work were as varied as Joanne’s interests and passions: Girl Scout Leader of Brownie, Junior and Cadette troops, Former Chair of Cushnoc Association and Kennebec Council Board member, American Guild of Organists, Augusta Symphony Friends, Maine Historical Society, Gardiner Historian 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” newspaper column for the Portland Sunday Telegram.
Whether it was in her role as Christ Church’s organist for 38 years or simply accompanying sing-alongs at home with close family friends, Carrie and Murray K. Stevens, Sr., music was Joanne’s passion. Family gatherings were not complete without a musical number from “Bon Jody”, as she was affectionately called by her grandchildren.
When she wasn’t sitting at an organ or piano bench, you could fine Joanne enjoying weekly bridge matches, reading her favorite newspapers set aside especially for her by Ainslie’s Market or recounting beloved childhood summer memories spent on the coast at Pemiquid, Bremen and ‘ Scotty’ (Damari cotta).
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; her grandchildren Michael Clark Susi, Meredith Lynn Susi, Carissa Marie Bard, Lesley Jean Stevens; six great grandchildren; and her “adopted daughter of her heart”, Melody Beckwith. Her family is positive Joanne is enjoying and playing some heavenly music, along with a few games of bridge in her next life.
Visiting hours will be held Friday, August 19 from 9:30 – 10:45 am at Christ Church Episcopal in Gardiner, followed by funeral services at 11 am A private family interment at Oak Grove Cemetery will follow.
The family would like to thank the Nurses and Staff at Glenridge Comfort Care Unit, Maine General Hospice Staff and The Balsam House for their care.
Arrangements are in the care 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: http://www.staplesfuneralhome.com.
Those wishing to remember Joanne in a special way may make gifts in her memory to:
Christ Church Episcopal,
2 Dresden Ave.,