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Clara Houlihan

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Clara Houlihan Obituary
HOULIHAN Clara Taylor Spencer, wife of the late Edward Thomas "Hap" Houlihan Jr, and known to her many friends as "Spence," died on April 17 at her home. She was 96. Clara Taylor was born at Spring Hill, the Taylor ancestral home in Clark County, Kentucky, and spent most of her early life in Winchester. She was an accomplished golfer from a young age and competed in early U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Association tournaments along with Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, and other well-known golfers of the era. Clara Taylor attended the University of Texas at Austin, where her golf coach was Harvey Penick. She and Hap continued to play socially and competitively in local and regional tournaments for many happy years. Clara Taylor had a lifelong interest in Kentucky history and genealogy, especially where these two subjects overlapped: among her ancestors were Hubbard Taylor, who surveyed much of Kentucky before its statehood, was a two-time presidential elector, and served on Kentucky's first constitutional convention. Other ancestors of note were presidents Zachary Taylor and James Madison. She served as a Clark County representative for the Kentucky State Historical Society for many years, and was especially helpful in the selection, placement, and wording of Kentucky's roadside historical markers. In addition to her husband, Clara Taylor is preceded in death by her parents, Hubbard and Anna Sample Spencer; her sister, Alice Spencer Newell; and two sons, Michael Spencer Houlihan and Edward Thomas Houlihan III. She is survived by her brother, Hubbard B. Spencer Jr. and his wife, Betty; by her son John Spencer Houlihan and his wife Kathy of Winchester; by a daughter, Anne Houlihan Brown and her husband Bill of Taos, New Mexico; by a daughter-in-law, Susan; by her grandchildren Edward Thomas Houlihan IV, Mary Lynn Houlihan, John Spencer Houlihan Jr, and Hunter Taylor Houlihan of Lexington, Angela Houlihan Tafel and Michael Spencer Houlihan of Louisville, and William Tennant Brown III of Taos, New Mexico; and by ten great-grandchildren. Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at the Winchester Cemetery on Saturday, April 26 at 10am and to stop by 146 Holiday Road in Lexington afterwards from 1-5pm. In lieu of flowers, Clara Taylor's family asks that you plant a tree or a drift of daffodils somewhere special in her memory.

Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Apr. 20, 2014
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