May 7, 1922 ~ February 17, 2011
Ellen Kennedy Clarke, age 88, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, died Thursday, February 17, 2011, surrounded by her children. She will be remembered always as a loving mother, grandmother, sister, compassionate teacher, and joyful friend who relished life. She was born on May 7, 1922 in Chicago, IL to the late John Joseph Kennedy and Ruth Agnes Dean, the second of four children. She grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, attended Trinity College in Washington, DC, and graduated with a B.S. degree from Albertus Magnus College in 1943. She did post-graduate work in the elite metallurgy studies program at The Pennsylvania State University, and worked for Sikorsky Aircraft in Bridgeport, CT, designing planes for World War II. She married USMC First Lieutenant Harry St. Clair Clarke in 1946. They were married for 29 years until his death in 1975. They had nine children: Elizabeth Clarke Horrigan of Perrysburg, OH; Margaret Simon (William) of Shaker Heights, OH; Harry St. Clair Clarke, Jr. (Jennifer Swain) of Sullivan's Island, SC; Martha Capone (Raymond, Jr.) of Pittsburgh, PA; John Kennedy Clarke (Melanie Cognetta) of Princeton, NJ; Mimi Clarke Corcoran (Michael) of Harrison, NY; Ellen de Saint Phalle (Pierre) of Bronxville, NY; Martin Andrew Clarke (Bibi Qureshi) of Greenwich, CT, and Jennifer Ruth Clarke, who died at age seven. While raising her family, she earned her master's degree in education and taught math and science at North Haven High School, where she also served as senior class advisor. Active in school, community, and church organizations throughout her life, she was president of the Cathedral Players, Altar Sodality, and AAUW in Toledo, OH. In Connecticut, she was a member of the English Speaking Union and volunteered at the Creative Arts Workshop. When she moved to Mt. Pleasant, she enjoyed many new organizations at Franke at Seaside, including history clubs, bridge, and book groups. She also mentored medical students from the Medical University of South Carolina. Her legacy is her family: twenty-eight grandchildren, Elizabeth Nicholson (Jonathon), Abigail, Paul, Andrew (Angela Snell) and John Horrigan (Lindsey); William (Meghan), Benjamin (Elizabeth), Joseph (Julie) and Nicholas Simon; Harry III and Joseph Clarke, Raymond III and Avery Capone; Julia Clarke Van Arsdale (Bruce), Noelle, Ellen and Isabelle Clarke; Michael, Ethan, Alexander and Teddy Corcoran; Elizabeth, Peter, Anne, and John de Saint Phalle; Martin, Daniel and John Clarke, and six great grandchildren. She loved sharing in her children's lives and cherished her grandchildren, attending their many athletic contests, plays, concerts, and academic events. Ellen is also survived by her brother, Richard Kennedy (Nana) and her sister, Mary Ruth Kennedy Hampton (Walter), and her sister-in-law, Anne Kennedy. In addition to her husband, daughter, and parents, she is predeceased by her brother, Dr. John Kennedy, Jr. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011 at St. Barnabas Church, North Haven, CT. The Rev. Thomas J. Hagan, O.S.F.S., former Catholic Chaplain to Princeton University and founder of Hands Together, an outreach program to help the poor in Haiti, will be the celebrant. The Rev. Hugh J. MacDonald will assist. Friends may visit with the family at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden, on Saturday morning from 8 to 9:15 a.m. Burial will be in All Saints Cemetery. The family thanks the caring staff at the Medical University of South Carolina. Contributions in Ellen's memory may be sent to: The Center for Discovery, Providing services for children and adults with severe disabilities, P.O. Box 840 – Benmosche Road, Harris, NY 12742 or Franke at Seaside, Benevolence Fund for Resident Care, 1885 Rifle Range Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or Medical University of South Carolina, Student Mentoring Program, Office of Development, 261 Calhoun Street, Suite 306, MSC 182, Charleston, SC 29425.