PATRICIA "Poppy" LARK (1940 - 2019)

  • "With deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Patricia..."
  • "A wonderful kind and gentle person. I'm very sorry to..."
    - Catherine Bucknam
  • "I'm truly sorry to hear of Ms. Lark's passing. I would like..."
  • "Lutz -- I was shocked and saddened to read of Poppy's..."
  • "That was an eloquent, moving , and sensitive way to express..."
    - Irv & Bunny Cohen

LARK PATRICIA M. LARK "Poppy" April 23, 1940 - May 3, 2019 It was her radiant smile that first entranced everyone who met her. Once they knew her better, they were smitten by her sense of humor, sometimes sharp, mostly gentle. She herself was gentle, proud yet self-effacing. She was unfailingly generous, ready to help friends and strangers in any way she could, offering her time, her talents, her financial resources. Those who knew her well loved her because she was so lovable. Poppy had a love of language, something that threaded through her life in personal and professional ways. Among her passions were cross-word puzzles, which she finished with ease and Scrabble which she usually won against capable opponents. She enjoyed exploring the etymology of words, both at her jobs (especially in the early years as editor and proofreader) and in her non-professional life. She enjoyed finding grammar mistakes or misnomers in newspapers, and rarely missed a chance to incorporate her clever, often hilariously witty, words and ideas in cards to friends. Friends cherished and saved her writings. She was an avid Jeopardy fan, able to hold her own against most of those who competed on air. She could always recall the roles of movie stars, those famous and those much less so. She also had a well-known passion for soups and coffee, to begin and end each meal. She liked hiking in the Utah national parks, fascinated by the scenery and the adventure of exploring. While she enjoyed trips to foreign countries (especially zip-lining in Costa Rica), she was impelled to return to the Utah parks every few years, especially to the Peek-a-Boo trail in Bryce, and Dark Angel in Arches; she had planned to go again in October, an adventure cruelly denied her. She also had an immense fondness for summer trips to Bailey Island, Maine, where her grandfather, Perry MacNeille (who designed Perryville, Maryland) had built a summer home that remains in the family. She expressed the wish - just weeks before she died - to visit and once more enjoy the sea from the porch. Many evenings, Poppy would play her piano to an audience of one; occasionally she'd share her talents and passion in duets with a flutist friend. Bach was her favorite composer. Poppy was born as Patricia MacNeille in Rochester, New York, on April 23, 1940, to Patricia and Stephen MacNeille. As a child, she lived for a few years in Oakridge, Tennessee, but spent most of her school years in Thompson, Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1963. Immediately after graduation she became a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal for two years, from 1963-1965, at Kaolack, Dakar, and St. Louis. She returned to visit Senegal forty years later and was embraced warmly by Senegalese friends who recognized her enduring charm. In 1984, she graduated from George Mason Law School and practiced law briefly before turning to a career in legal editing. Poppy died May 3, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. She leaves behind a grieving husband, Lutz Prager, two sisters, Stephanie "Stephie" MacNeille and Christine "Mimi" Kent, a brother, Robert "Robbie" MacNeille, loving nephews and nieces, and dozens of friends and admirers. She is predeceased by her sister, Elizabeth ("Bethie") MacNeille. (There are also her surviving "children": Johann Sebastian Bear; Albert Lapinski; Michael Millmouse; Clementine Kadiddlehopper; Otto Bear; and Poop-Sie). Contributions in her memory may be made to a or to the Halquist Memorial Inpatient Center, in Arlington. As Poppy might say, "Either is preferable."Contributions in her memory may be made to a or to the Halquist Memorial Inpatient Center, in Arlington. As Poppy might say, "Either is preferable."
Published in The Washington Post on May 12, 2019
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