Friday, March 31, 2023
B/G William Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Arneytown, New Jersey, United States
Obituary of Dorothy A. Clarke
Please share a memory of Dorothy to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Dorothy Augusta Clarke, “Gustea” passed away February 28, 2023, at the age of 86 years. Dorothy was born in Hanover County, Virginia and nurtured by her loving parents, Stella and John Clarke Sr. and her beloved paternal grandparents. She was raised in Red Bank, New Jersey and attended public schools where she excelled in all subjects. She graduated from Red Bank High School, with honors, and shortly after enrolled in nursing school in Newark, N.J., graduating as a Registered Nurse, her lifelong career. She was also very artistic and enjoyed painting, and ceramics throughout her adult life. Years later, Dorothy heroically enlisted in U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, serving at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, most of her service term and later, McGuire Air Force Base. She was a designated Officer, holding the rank of a Lieutenant in the Air Force. As a Registered Nurse, she ministering to the hundreds of wounded war veterans sent home from the horrific battles in Vietnam. It was a harrowing experience, which deeply affected her. After her term of duty in the Air Force, Dorothy continued her career in nursing, working in various hospitals, nursing homes, and her preferred choice, private duty, caring for disabled homebound seniors. She was beloved by her patients and their families and stayed in touch with many of them over the years. She enjoyed caring for the elderly and she was a good nurse, often working night shifts and double shifts. At one point she moved to Virginia and helped care for our maternal Uncle Moska, who had throat cancer and later succumbed to it. As a single woman, Dorothy was very attentive to her younger siblings and later, her nieces and nephews. She often took them to the beach, movies and dining out. She took pride in giving them gifts, and things she never had, as a child. She had a generous spirit with family and friends, and was always willing to help her family, and was usually the first to offer financial help. In later years, one of her favorite sayings was, “God loves you and so do I”. Dorothy was also very attentive to her parents, especially to our Mother. She could cook, but it wasn’t her passion. Her specialty was lemon méringue pie; the best, when she had time to make it. She loved fashion and dressed well. She was a diligent worker. Dorothy loved music and art. Her favorite entertainers were Sammy Davis Jr., Brook Benton, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Elvis, and Neil Diamond. Her personality was gregarious, and she was a “good talker” as her Dad would say. She had a witty sense of humor and her laugh would impel you to laugh along with her, enjoying the moment. During her lifetime, she met Muhammed Ali (wish we still had that photo) and attended a luncheon at Ray Charles’ home in Los Angeles (from which she sent us a monogrammed (RC in golden letters) guest paper napkin, (we should have framed that too.) We were thrilled, as I’m sure she was, too. As a senior, Dorothy wrote poetry and often gave them as gifts, whether the person appreciated poetry or not; but most of us did appreciate her poems and the sentiment behind them. Dorothy was especially close to our predeceased Mother, as well as our predeceased brothers: Raymond Clarke and John Clarke Jr. Dorothy had a loving relationship with all of our predeceased Aunts. She was also very close to her nephew, Don Clarke. Our older Sister, Carrie Blakeley, is deceased. Dorothy is survived by her three sisters: Shirley Telting, Verna Clarke & Sharon Clarke. Brother-in-law: Warren Telting. Uncles: James Davis, Sr., Charles Davis & Warren Davis. Aunts: Esther Davis & Loretta Davis. Numerous Nephews, & Nieces in New Jersey and California, as well as numerous cousins in the U.S. A special thanks to Sister, Verna Clarke for always being there for Dorothy, through the years. Cousins: Noble Jones & (wife) Yvonne Jones for their love and support through the years. Also, to Niece, Linda Clark, who also was very helpful and attentive during Dorothy’s latter years. Your love and support are appreciated, by her and all of us. Heartfelt thanks to you all. It’s only fitting that she will receive a United States Veteran’s honor burial service, the first in our immediate family and a special honor to us all. She deserves to be interned at the Veteran’s Cemetery, because she is one of our family’s heroes. She was a courageous, outspoken, authentic, and compassionate woman; not an easy road for a woman of her generation. We believe she has PTSD, before it was a well-known diagnosis, (circa 1980) as it is now. Her pain was her family’s pain as well. We will always love her dearly. Now she can rest in peace and joyfully be reunited with our loved ones who have passed on. Her life is no longer a struggle. She IS free at last, and we will miss her and always love her. Funeral service with Military Honors will take place at the B/G William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 350 Province Line Road, Wrightstown, NJ, on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 11:00 am. Dear Gustea, You were a little girl born on a farm in Virginia The third child among what was to grow to seven Nurtured by your parents, grandparents, aunts, & uncles The first grandbabies in a loving family, special little ones A source of joy, and hope during the dismal & desperate 1930’s Your parents moved you to New Jersey for chance at life They found it there, as they worked hard & long You loved school in the small special town of Red Bank You had dreams and goals, some found, some not You cared for others and became a nurse You made your family proud as you excelled You were brave & served your country in the Air Force You saw soldiers wounded, maimed, and dying Some surviving & going home, but still wounded inside You did your duty and ministered to their pain & suffering You survived & went home too, but also wounded inside You prevailed, loved your family, gave all you could You loved God, music, art, children, elders, the beach You drove cross country a few times, lived in a few states You fell in love & out of love, made many friends, lost friends You had a lifetime career of caring for the sick & dying You made your mark, you excelled, you failed, you were brave You’ve lived your life We thank you We love & appreciate you You lived your life You made ours’ better Love, Sharon
Kedz Funeral Home began serving the Ocean County community in 1969, and for 32 years built it’s reputation by assisting area families with personal service and attention to detail.
Kedz Funeral Home
1123 Hooper Ave Toms River, NJ 08753732-349-1234
Phone: (732) 349-1234