Emily Espenshade Clark
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May 20, 1915 - Aug. 3, 2012
Resident Scotts Valley
Emily Clark died Thursday night at home in Scotts Valley. The wife of UCSC's founding librarian, Emily was a 50-year resident of Santa Cruz County. She was 97 years old.
Emily was born in State College, Pennsylvania, where her father, A.H. Espenshade, was a professor of English. She graduated from Penn State University at the age of 20 and moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where she met Don Clark. They were married in 1938 and their marriage lasted 55 years, until his death in 1993.
Her husband served as librarian at the Harvard Business School and later, in 1962, became the founding librarian for the new campus of the University of California at Santa Cruz. Emily helped him develop close relations between the library and the faculty at both institutions and she accompanied him on trips to build collections and broaden contacts, including an extended trip through the South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand in 1965.
Emily was a founding member of the UCSC Women's Club, which was organized to welcome newcomers to the campus. She served as president in the early years and was active in the organization's Garden Club for a many years. An avid gardener, she was an early and long-time supporter of the Arboretum at UCSC, working as a volunteer into her nineties. She helped establish Norrie's Gift Shop and propagated plants for the Arboretum's extensive gardens.
An accomplished craftsman, she made clothes for her family including her husband's signature bow ties. She knit for her family, her friends, and herself often producing complicated and beautiful cable-knit fishermen's sweaters. When she and her husband built their home in Scotts Valley, Emily painted the interior and laid the stone tile floors.
She once saw a large carved sun in an antique shop that she liked. She didn't feel she could afford to buy it so she took up woodcarving and became an accomplished carver whose work was widely sought after. Emily also worked in watercolors, enthusiastically pursuing her art until age made it too difficult to continue.
She was an unassuming and intelligent woman, well-read and well-liked. She wasn't sure she wanted to move to California when she arrived in 1962 but, after 50 years in Santa Cruz County, said she had made the right choice.
Emily is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and May Clark of Scotts Valley, and by her four grandchildren, Juliet Patrick, Emilia Patrick, Robey Patrick, and Kaitlin Drzurela, and by her son-in-law, Al Patrick. Her daughter, Pamela Clark Patrick, died in 2010. A celebration of her life is planned for a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to the UCSC Arboretum, the Donald and Emily Clark Map Endowment at UCSC, or Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com to light a candle or express your condolences to Emily's family.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Aug. 8, 2012