Shirley Hope CLARK(1919 - 2015)

CLARK, Shirley Hope

of Albertson, NY, on March 13, 2015. She was born Speranza Marino on July 1, 1919, into a large Italian immigrant family on the Lower East Side of New York City. Her father (Peter) was Italian and her mother (Sadie) was Jewish. She was one of 35 first cousins who grew up together and was the first to graduate from high school.

She went to work as a secretary and bookkeeper in a New York office. A girlfriend introduced her to the Catskills, where she met her future husband, Theodore R. (Ted) Clark. They married in 1942 at Fort Benning, GA, where he was a first lieutenant in the Army. After the war, he built a long career with the United States Customs Service. In 1952 they moved from a small apartment in New York City to a new house on Long Island. There they raised three sons.

Shirley spent 60 years as a volunteer at St. Aidan's School and Parish. She served as president of the Mothers Club, as a member of the Rosary Society, and as the creative director of a musical theater group called the Funny Mothers. She directed and performed in countless musical and variety shows. Her favorite costume was a feather boa, her signature song was "Second Hand Rose."

Her quick wit and irreverence made her a favorite as a master of ceremonies at assemblies, communion breakfasts, and fund-raising events. She was proud of her longevity, especially given she had survived cancer twice. Into her 90s, she visited schools and read books to the children. In 1998, she visited Rome and is pictured grasping hands with Saint John Paul II after an audience. She received many awards and citations for her service to the community, especially for her work with the local American Cancer Society.

Most of all, she was the devoted mother of Roy Peter (Karen) of St. Petersburg, Vincent (Joan), and Ted (Karen); loving grandmother of Alison Hastings, Emily Grdgon, Lauren Dykes, Georgiana Donahue, Matthew, Christian, and Mary Hope. Aunt to Peter, Theresa, Steven, Donna, Francine, Frank, Bill and Joe.

Visitation Sunday, March 22, from 2-4 and 7-9 pm, at Weigand Bros. Funeral Home, 49 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, NY. Funeral Mass Monday, 10 am, at St. Aidan's RC Church. Internment Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Shirley's memory to at (stjude.org).

Funeral Home

Weigand Bros Funeral Home
49 Hillside Ave Williston Park, NY 11596
(516) 746-4484

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Mar. 19, 2015