Laura Bert Clark - June 02, 2009
Laura Bert Fisher Clark, 87, formerly of Holyoke, since 2006 of Salt Lake City, Utah, died Tuesday morning, June 2, 2009, at Highland Care Rehabilitation Center, SLC, where she had been a patient since a serious fall two months ago.
Prior to her injury causing a series of setbacks leading to congestive heart failure, Laura Bert was enjoying a pleasant life in peaceful surroundings with new friends at SLC’s Highland Cove Retirement Center, close to her son and daughter-in-law, Andy and Christy Clark, and her new church family, Southeast Christian Church.
Born May 10, 1922 in Edina, Mo., as the only child of John F. and (later, long-time Holyoke resident) Mary H. (Linville) Fisher, Laura Bert was raised in the comfortable, home of the Fisher family, one of the earliest European families to settle Knox County.
An excellent student who loved sports and horses, she attended William Woods College in Moberly, Mo., before matriculating to Northwestern University, Evanston, lll., where she graduated in 1943.
Laura Bert was introduced to the love of her life, Theodore P. (Ted) Clark, by a cousin who had shared the Fisher home more like a brother, and who had become best friends with Ted during enlistee training for WWII. Soon after the war, like so many others of the “Greatest Generation,” Laura and Ted were married June 10, 1946 in her family home in Edina.
To this life-long union were born son, John Andrew “Andy” on Aug. 30, 1948, and daughter, Mary Ellen on March 25, 1951. Both her husband and daughter preceded Laura Bert to the Lord, Mary Ellen on Oct. 28, 2001 and Ted on June 8, 2003.
Following their marriage, Ted and Laura Bert lived in Des Moines, Iowa, where he completed Drake University. In 1951, for better work, the young couple moved with their two little ones, joining others of Ted’s family in Holyoke. Soon thereafter, while Ted began his long career of writing and editing The Holyoke Enterprise “home town weekly,” Laura Bert devoted herself to their church, First Christian of Holyoke, and to her husband and children as homemaker.
After the children were both in school, following several summer courses over some years in both Missouri and Colorado, Laura Bert began her long career as a Holyoke educator, teaching high school and grade school French, later as Holyoke High librarian. Of special note, she was chosen early on as a Fulbright Fellow for study abroad, joining a group of other select teachers for a summer in France, following which she set up the initial Holyoke elementary school French program—the first of its kind in that part of the country and truly ground-breaking for its time.
After the Lord and His church, and her family, friends and Holyoke community, “LB’s” greatest joy in life was traveling widely with Ted. By the time their children were out of high school, they had traveled by car on summer trips to all the “lower 48.” Later LB and Ted added Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Marianas, Ireland, England and Mexico to their itineraries. Avoiding the interstates, never was a special site or “hysterical marker” by-passed, nor any “around-the-bend” allowed to be missed!
Laura Bert is survived by son Andy Clark and his wife Christy of Salt Lake City, Utah; five grandchildren, Natalie Roberts Peckham and her husband J.C. of Holyoke, Laura Roberts Myers and her husband James of Gering, Neb., John F. Clark and his wife Tracy of Tacoma, Wash., Aaron Clark and his wife Kelsey of Pacific Palisades, Calif. and Jessica Clark Hacker and her husband Steven of Carlsbad, Calif.; and eight great-grandchildren, Bradley and Allison Coyne of Holyoke, Aidan, Brennan and Vance Clark of Pacific Palisades, Calif. and Micah, Jonah and Hannah Hacker of Carlsbad, Calif.
Following a June 7 memorial celebration at her Salt Lake City church of a life well and faithfully lived, Andy and Christy brought Laura Bert Clark home to a June 8 graveside service at Holyoke Memorial Park, where she waits beside her husband Ted for the soon and certain Day of the Lord.
Typifying a Godly woman cast in Proverbs 31:10-31, in lieu of flowers, Laura Bert asked that memorials go to “children’s ministries” of SE Christian Church, 1881 Vine St., Murray, UT, 84121.