Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Catherine C. Clarke

October 23, 1921 - June 17, 2024
Evanston, IL


Life Story / Obituary


Our beloved mother, Catherine Evelyn Carr Clarke, slipped away in her sleep on June 17th. She was a strong and loving matriarch who lived a long and happy life, leaving us with wonderful memories and the support of her “happy place,” the summer community at Castle Park.

Born in South Bend, IN, Catherine (“Cathy” to her friends) grew up in Rogers Park in Chicago, the daughter of an Episcopal minister and an artistic mother who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She graduated from Northwestern University where she was active in the Tri Delta Sorority and majored in English Literature. A talented writer, her favorite job after college was working as a journalist for the Marshall Field Co. newsletter, the Field Glass. A stylish dresser all her life, she enjoyed both the writing and the discount on clothing!

Catherine was involved in the arts throughout her life, as a docent at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1970’s, an art columnist for a chain of local newspapers in 1970’s and early 1980’s, and a volunteer in the 1990’s at the art museum in her winter community of Vero Beach, FL. She was an accomplished artist, and her watercolor paintings of holiday scenes in Chicago, Michigan and Paris graced her holiday cards for over two decades. She was also active in the community, serving as president of the Tri Delta Sorority Alumni Club, and was a member of the LaGrange Art League, the Western Springs Infant Welfare Society, the LaGrange Garden Club, Emmanuel Episcopal Church in LaGrange, and the Lyric Opera Guild of Chicago, Southwest Branch.

The widow of former IL State Senator Terrel E. Clarke, Catherine was active in politics as well, and was an elected delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1980. She also loved to travel and rented an apartment in Paris several times, as the artist in her loved living in the City of Light. In her spare time, she especially enjoyed a good game of bridge, and was able to hold her own in gin rummy right up to the end of her life.

Catherine is survived by her three children Elizabeth, John (and Betsy), Martha (and George) Dahlman; eight grandchildren Michelle (and Matthew) Bloom, Alison (and Andrew) Babbitt, Carolynn Pelletier, Jay (and Jenna) Levins, and James, Christopher, Patrick, and Nathan Dahlman. She is also survived by her great grandchildren Tedemun and Evelyn Bloom, Diana and Grayson Babbitt, and Jamey Levins; and five nieces (Nancy and Mary Clarke; Sara, Mary, and Wendy Bartlett).

Our mother had a great sense of humor and was very social, particularly enjoying her many friends in Castle Park. We fondly remember Mom and Dad and our Uncle Dave sitting in their beach chairs with the other couples of their era enjoying a summer day by the lake. We are grateful to have had the good fortune to journey through life under the care and love of such a remarkable woman and cherish the many happy memories she made with us.

Burial will be private with a memorial service planned for later in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her memory to the Castle Park Memorial Fund, 6690 Edwards Ave., Holland, MI 49423. The family will be notified of your thoughtful gift, which will support the conservation of her favorite community.