A remembrance by her son, Ed Clarke, July 22, 2016
Duty, Honor, Country. Many here will recognize this as the West Point motto. Mum-mum's dad graduated from West Point. So did her brother and her nephew. Her son-in-law and grandson graduated from the Air Force Academy which, in many ways, was a spin off from West Point. Growing up in mum-mum's household, we would watch a weekly TV show called, The West Point Story. In addition to the West Point motto, we learned the story of the tradition of the long grey line and the honor code, We will not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those among us who do.
I think mum-mum would have modified the motto to be Duty, Honor, Family, Country. She did so much over the years to keep the family together. She sent birthday cards every year to each of her 3 children and to their spouses, to each of her 5 grandchildren and to each of her 10 great grandchildren. She was the communication link that helped keep us all in touch.
Mum-mum was truly a member of the greatest generation, born at the end of WWI, a teenager/college student during the Depression. She did her part at her dad's US Army school to train young officers in the many arts of field artillery and became a certified ambulance driver. She sent a husband off to war while raising two children. She greeted him when he came back and soon was raising a third. By the numbers, after she was married, she moved households 17 times, living in 10 cities over a span of 24 years before finally settling into Lake Forest, IL. During her life, she sent her brother off to war 3 times and her husband, son, son-in-law, granddaughter, grandson-in-law and grandson off to war at last once each. After her father died, she cared for her mother for 8 years. She and my dad enjoyed their loving companionship for 62 years until he died in 2003.
There are many things that could be written about the character and accomplishments of my mother, Elizabeth Allin Clarke. But let me end by saying I will miss her very much. I will miss the 4-5 daily emails on topics of mutual interest. I will miss her passion and patriotism. I will miss her ever-present caring for her extended family. I will miss her love that she expressed to all her family every day.