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Monica Mary CLARKE


1938 - 2019
Monica Mary CLARKE Obituary
MONICA MARY CLARKE December 31, 1938 - May 27, 2019 Monica (Nicki) passed away peacefully at Toronto Western Hospital after a short illness. She is survived by her loving family, including husband of 57 years, Robin Edward Charles Clarke; her four children, Kirsty Brown, Thomas Clarke (Leatrice), Magnus Clarke (Jennifer), Zoë Parish (Matthew); and seven grandchildren, Zander and Casey Brown; Harrison and Cameron Clarke; and Oliver, Jasper, and Honor Parish. Born in London, England, as the only child of predeceased Sydney and Doris Pascoe, she attended Blackheath High School for Girls for ten years, and the City of London College for two years. She worked as a personal secretarial assistant for four years before becoming a full-time family manager and mother. The family, with Kirsty and Tom, emigrated to Canada in 1967, and Magnus and Zoë arrived soon afterwards. Nicki had first met Robin in the belfry at St. John Baptist Church in Eltham, London, where they were both change ringers, and they eventually returned to that exercise, becoming band members of the St. James Cathedral Toronto Guild when the bells were installed in 1996. NIcki enjoyed sailing and was an accomplished crew manager for the extensive racing programmes that the family undertook, as well as being an active crew member, racing regularly in club as well as international races. She provided crew sustenance, which included the renowned "fish pie" (salmon quiche) and lemon pound cake. Often, visiting crews would be billeted at home, with Nicki feeding as many as 10 hungry sailors with breakfast before leaving to race them on the water. She managed the Magistri Admirals Cup crew for their 1979 challenge and Vision's International 8m challenge for the World Cup in Sweden in 1982, as well as competing very successfully in six further World and Sira Cup challenges in North America, Finland and Sweden over the next 10 years. Later she cruised with her husband and many friends in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Baltic ,and the Seychelles. She was involved in the inauguration of the International Optimist Class Association in Canada and attended regattas across North America with her sailing family. She served as the Youth Committee chair at her club, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, for 12 years. Also, serving on the Board of Senior Link, a seniors' services provider, for 15 years gave her the background to establish a spin-off team, Peel Senior Link, as President, where she worked until retirement. She actively worked on several of City of Toronto Councillor Pam McConnell's election campaigns after meeting her on the successful rebuilding campaign for Balmy Beach Public School. She continued to volunteer in the Councillor's City Hall office for many years. Nicki was known for her good humour, infectious laugh, loving, generous personality, extraordinary hospitality and feisty character, but also for not suffering authority gladly. Her family would feel sympathy for any police officer who might have the temerity to apprehend her for any apparent traffic infraction and risk the wrath of her tongue. Her affection was never more noticeable than with her pets, particularly cats, but latterly a succession of Bouvier dogs and her beloved Millie, a Shih Tzu-Bichon cross. The family would like to thank the excellent medical staff at UHN and particularly Toronto Western Hospital, for their kind and responsive care in her final days and would like to suggest that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Toronto University Health Network, or the Toronto Humane Society in her name. A memorial service will be held at St. James Cathedral at Church and King Streets, Toronto on Monday June 17, at 3.00 p.m., reception to follow. Later in the year, a further ceremony will be arranged in London, England, for UK and European friends and family.
Published in The Globe and Mail from June 4 to June 8, 2019
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