GLORIA LEE CLARK
JANUARY 9, 1931 - APRIL 22, 2013
Gloria Lee Clark died Monday, April 22, 2013, giving up, but not in, to the punishment of Alzheimer's Disease. She was 82.
For the past six years, her home was Willow Springs Special Care Center in Redding, where she was loved and cared for and treated with deep respect until her final breath.
Gloria was the mom every kid wants. As a registered nurse, she worked in hospitals and physicians' offices as a young woman. But her true "career" was as a homemaker, wife and mother. She ran her household like a drill sergeant, kept it as clean as an operating room. Her kids and her husband, Gene, came first. Then her animals. And her garden.
The oldest child of Earl and Emily Reber, Gloria grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents worked hard and their Midwestern values of honesty, compassion and frugality were stamped on Gloria at an early age. She was bright and ambitious and satisfied a desire to help others by putting herself through Washington University in St.Louis, earning a bachelor's degree in nursing. Her marriage to Gene, a longtime Redding dermatologist, melded their desires to care for those in need.
Gene's career took them first to Columbia, Missouri, where she worked as a nurse while he attended medical school. Then it was to Ogden, Utah, and Missoula, Montana, where she perfected the art of a stay-at-home mom. From their country home, she was the inspiration for numerous Cub Scout creations and school science projects. In freezing temperatures and an ancient Chrysler they bought for $35, she maneuvered snowy Montana roads to taxi her kids to guitar lessons, swimming classes and ice skating trips. In summer, she nursed her gardens, turning them into emerald jars of pickles or liquid gold of canned fruit.
The family lived briefly in Menlo Park, then moved to Redding in 1968, where Gene opened his practice. Gloria worked by his side for several years, before turning her attention to home once again. She became active in the Pilgrim Congregational Church and Shasta Trinity Medical Auxiliary and, in later years, was an avid member of the Native Plant Society, Shasta Historical Society and Audubon. She and Gene founded the Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve, devoting tireless days to ripping out rogue blackberry bushes or picking up litter to turn the spot into an outdoor gem.
Through many homes and many roles, Gloria was always humble, deeply caring and never extravagant. She drove a compact station wagon, not a Mercedes. She sewed her own clothes. She turned cast-off furniture into treasures with hours of elbow grease and made her home a showpiece. She loved her children fiercely, a trait that could embarrass a young boy but bring tears to his eyes years later. She was a mom who would hop on her bicycle and deliver an ill son's paper route - a snarling dog at her heels.
She was a mom every kid wished he had. The best. Husband Gene died in 2012. Gloria leaves two sons, Matt (wife Beverly) and Greg (wife Joy), all of Redding; granddaughter Kristin (Daryl), of Sacramento; grandson Justin (Christina) of Redding; and four greatgrandchildren: Claire and Abby Goodman and Cameron and Braxton Clark.
No services are planned. The family asks that donations be made in her name to Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve, P.O. Box 107, Igo, CA 96047.
Please sign the guest book at http://obituaries.redding.com
Published in Redding Record Searchlight on Apr. 28, 2013