Judith Clark, 84

Jun 13, 2019 by

Published June 14, 2019

MELROSE — Judith “Judy” ( Southerton) Clark, 84, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, died peacefully on April 5, 2019.

Judy grew up in West Haven, Conn. and graduated from Wells College. She moved to New York City and worked in publishing, including for Seventeen magazine. There, Judy met her husband of 58 years, H. Chandler Clark. They were married in 1959 in Woodbridge Conn., where they raised their two children, John and Katherine. Judy was a great Mom, cook, hostess, listener, and bridge player. She especially enjoyed sharing her summer home and love of Truro, Mass. with friends and family.

Judy was a brilliant wordsmith and loved writing and reading books. After obtaining a masters in Library Science from Southern Connecticut University, Judy was a school librarian for the Woodbridge and Cheshire Conn. school systems. She went on to be the Executive Director of the Woodbridge Town Library where she was an innovator and role model; Judy was one of the first librarians in Connecticut to incorporate computers into a town library.

Judy was a deeply spiritual person, drawing from both Christian and Eastern traditions; she mentored and inspired many with her deep commitment to incorporating justice into her religious practice. She was a lay preacher with the Episcopal Church and worshipped at Christ Episcopal Church in Bethany Conn. and St. Mary’s of the Harbor in Provincetown Mass. She was also a teacher of breathing and meditation techniques for the Art of Living. Judy and her husband Chan founded Prison Smart, a program for incarcerated children to help them manage the effects of trauma and stress. They also played a pivotal role in establishing the Welcome Home program that teaches breathing techniques and meditation to veterans suffering from stress and PTSD. Judy wrote and co-authored several books, collaborated with Fr. Thomas Keating, and studied with the nuns of Transfiguration Monastery in New York.

Judy is loved and cherished by her children, John S. Clark of New York City and Provincetown and Katherine M. Clark and her husband Rodney S. Dowell of Melrose. She was a wonderful and much loved grandmother, affectionately known as “Rugra” to Addison, Jared and Nate Dowell. She also adored being Aunt Judy and is survived by Kathy Jarvis of Palo Alto, Calif., Vicki and Dwight Escalera of Wakefield, R.I., Martha and Murray Czaczkes of Madison, Conn., Francis Gouillart of Concord, Elizabeth and Bruce Snider of London, John Clark and Merete Gram of Oslo, Norway, Stephen and Karen Clark of Los Angeles,  Marlea Clark of Brattleboro, Vt., and 22 great- and great, great nieces and nephews. Judy was predeceased by her husband H. Chandler Clark, her parents Perry and Katherine Southerton, her sister Susanne Schall, and her niece Laura Gouillart.

A memorial service will be held at the Christ Episcopal Church, 526 Amity Road, Bethany, Conn. on June 23 at 12 noon. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association (act.alz.org) which has eased the journey for so many suffering from dementia and those who love and care for them. Arrangements by Gately Funeral Home, Melrose. To send a message of condolence please visit www.gatelyfh.com

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