CLARKE, Marie Elisha
November 12, 1929 - March 28, 2013
Marie Clarke Rowbotham of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully at Sarcee Hospice on March 28, 2013 with her loving family by her side, at the age of 83 years. Marie was born on November 12, 1929 in her parents' home in Connaught, Ontario. She was the youngest of five children born to Marie and Joseph Clemens. She grew up swimming and boating on the river in front of her house. She attended the local French schools until grade eight when she transferred to St. Josephs all girls' school in Toronto. Many lifelong friendships began there. She was a natural leader at the school, but not always in the direction the nuns would have chosen. An illness prevented her from attending McGill University, but she eventually went on to study Business at Loretta College in Toronto. In 1954 she left Toronto on her own and ventured west to Vancouver to work at the Royal Bank of Canada. It was while she was in Vancouver that she met Gray Clarke, they married in Vancouver and in 1955 moved to Calgary and raised five children. Although new to Calgary her outgoing personality allowed her to make friends quickly. Marie was known among her friends as being extremely generous. Whenever they wanted to have a party she never said "no". Wherever her home was, that became the place to gather. In her early years while raising a young family, she had very little in the way of money but she had an unlimited generosity and she spent it freely among all her family and friends, which she had in such abundance. She resumed her career when the last of her five kids went off to school. Her gift for connecting with people created opportunities for a challenging and rewarding career. She worked at the University of Calgary, as the managing editor of the Canadian Psychological Review of Canada from 1969 to 1980. In 1980 she moved to Mobil Oil and honed her skills in Corporate Giving, as the Coordinator of Corporate Gifts. This set her up for her role as a Campaign Manager for the United Way where she managed large corporate accounts with great success and support from the Calgary Oil and Gas Industry from 1985 to 1989. In 1989 she retired from the United Way and in the same year married the Honorable Justice Harry Rowbotham. They shared a passion for family, travel, food and wine and their affiliation with the Chaine des Rotissuers and the International Food and Wine Society created many memorable occasions. Marie Clarke is survived by her children, Gary Clarke, Lisa Clarke (Hugo Potts), Lori Wheeler (Brad), Paul Clarke (Janice); grandchildren, Evan, Owen and Kate Potts, Sean and Luke Clarke, and Ryan and Quinn Wheeler; stepchildren, Patricia, Elizabeth and Victoria Rowbotham and their families; much loved nieces, nephews and cousins; dear friends Shirley Toohey of Port Credit, Ontario, Bernie and Al Kahanoff, Heather Meehan, and numerous friends in Calgary and Ontario. She was predeceased by her son Ward Clarke (2002); husband Harry Rowbotham (2011); parents, Marie and Joseph Clemens; siblings, Mary Louise, Rosemary, Joan and Joseph; sister-in-law Mary Ellen Juba and her son-in-law Douglas Stokes. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the loving care that Marie received while at the Sarcee Hospice. Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY'S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, AB) today, April 2, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com
. In living memory of Marie Clarke, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane.