Selma loses beloved friend, volunteer

Published 10:34pm Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jean and John Clark met in Montgomery during World War II. She was employed in the capital city after completing her education and he was a member of the British Air Force, completing his flight training at Maxwell Air Base. The place was the city’s popular Morrison’s Cafeteria where she and a group of girl friends befriended “those nice young men from England,” in particular the one whose nickname was “Nobby.”

The casual acquaintance between the two deepened and on October 30 of the year 1942 they married. Shortly thereafter John Clark returned to England to join his Royal Air Force Squadron. In the spring his bride joined him in London where she served with the American Red Cross and at the Second General Hospital in Oxford and with the US Army’s 82nd Air Borne Division in Leicestershire.

After the end of World War II the Clarks returned to the United States with their new daughter, Rose, and settled in Birmingham, where she became an active member of the Episcopal Church, serving as chairman of the Women of the Church.

In 1970 the Clarks became residents of Selma where John Clark was for many years a banking official and Jean Clark began her community life. Her many interests included active membership in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, gardening, flower arranging and a particular interest in native dried wildflowers.

Clark was a member of the first group of “Pink Ladies” at the old Vaughan Hospital, continuing her service at the Vaughan Regional Medical Center and accumulating in excess of several thousand volunteer hours.

She was also involved with various patriotic organizations, including Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of 1812.

For years she was a regular participant at the Selma Ceramic Art Center, where Director Candi Duncan says she was well-known for her classic Nativity sets, holiday pieces and the “Blue Devil Mascot.”

She also maintained an interest in politics, with special emphasis on World War II history.

Alabama football was an acknowledged favorite interest for her. She enjoyed her family, friends and local events. Jean Clark was also a lover of animals, to the extent that she maintained an unofficial rescue operation for abandoned baby Box Turtles and those she rescued from traffic in Selma streets. Her back yard became their home.

Until her recent illness she remained an active, giving member of this area.

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