Anita Gwen Slone Clark was born Oct. 23, 1948, in Garner, to Hobert and Mabel B. Smith Slone. Anita was the sixth of 10 children. Growing up in a large family meant everyone had to work hard and sacrifice but the kids always had fun and Anita never complained. Anita met John Garfield Clark or "Gary", as he is known to close friends and family, at Mayo Vocational School where she was studying cosmetology and he was studying auto body repair. She always commented how interesting it is that two of her daughters now live in the town where they met. Gary and Anita were married on August 5, 1967, and they gave to their children the gift of a loving and faithful marriage. They served each other throughout their 46 year marriage and Gary cared for Anita during her illness in a way that only he could - with love, compassion, selflessness and, of course, humor. He often says "We stayed married so long because she had her way and I had her way." Anita and Gary attended Graceway United Methodist Church, keeping up with the church from home while she was taking chemo.
Gary and Anita have three children and seven grandchildren: Christy Terry and husband Bobby of Paintsville, who are parents of Lane and Jill; Vicki Small of Paintsville, mother of Laurel, Annelise and Mary; and Jeremy Clark and wife Stephanie of Langley, who are parents of Lydia and Macie. Anita is also survived by four sisters and three brothers and their families. These include Anna B. and Weddle Hicks of Garrett and Dana and Danny Sutton of Kimmell IN. The remainder of her siblings and their spouses live near the Slone family homeplace outside Mousie. They are Carolyn and Larry Triplett, Colleen Childers, Grayson and Jo Slone, Sherrill and Brenda Slone and Mike and Candy Slone. Anita is preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, one sister-in-law and one nephew. They are Mason and his wife Madlyn; Phillip, who is survived by his wife Gearline; and Jamie Triplett.
Anita was an exceptional wife, mother, daughter, sister, neighbor and friend. She was very proud of the family she helped raise, including her beloved grandchildren, and served them without fail. She was a woman of many talents and she shared her gifts generously. Just a few of the ways she served her family and community included revamping the library at Maytown Grade School, sewing uniforms for an entire cheerleading squad, sewing dresses for an entire wedding party, compiling a family tree back several generations for her mother's family and researching the genealogy of her father's and husband's families, running her own craft supply store, Mountains Crafts, then going to work for her competition, becoming a department manager and retiring from Wal-Mart 15 years later. She cooked for those who were sick or mourning and attended countless ballgames, cheerleading competitions, dance recitals, and Christmas plays. There was nothing crafty she couldn't do crochet, macrame, ceramics, painting, scrapbooking, and more. She gave her best to each thing she set out to do and, as a result, her family has many treasured keepsakes made by her hands.
During the more than two years that she bravely fought colon cancer her passion for quilting grew, which helped keep her mind off her health. She made a hand-pieced wall-hanging for the ARH Cancer Center at Hazard to encourage others who made regular visits there as she did. She hand-pieced and hand-quilted from start to finish at least 13 quilts during this time, making sure Gary, each child's family and each grandchild had one of her beautiful creations. There is a rumor that there may even be some under the Clark family Christmas tree this year. She shared her passion for quilting with her four sisters and they created a tradition of meeting each Sunday to eat, quilt, share, laugh and offer one another a special kind of support.
A great joy for Anita was to be able to make home-cooked meals for her family. She loved it when everyone could be together. She was already planning the Thanksgiving meal for this year, but now she is feasting with her Father at His Heavenly banquet table.