Dolores Bedford Clarke
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Dolores Bedford Clarke
  • August 20, 1935 - October 7, 2017
  • New York, New York

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Dolores Bedford Clarke, a 1990 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and a former chaplain at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, died on October 7, 2017, at the Mary Manning Walsh Home in New York. She was 82.
Mrs. Clarke founded and led the Princeton Theological Seminary New York City Friends for many years, convening groups of local clergy for luncheons to encourage conversation and fellowship. In 1997, the Seminary honored her by naming its student lounge the Dolores Bedford Clarke Lounge, proclaiming that she "personified the gift of hospitality."
Mrs. Clarke was born in Baltimore in 1935. She earned her master's degree in divinity at Princeton at the urging of her mentor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph R. Sizoo, a former pastor of St. Nicholas Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in Midtown Manhattan. Mrs. Clarke had served as Rev. Sizoo's student assistant, and later his teaching assistant, at George Washington University, from which she graduated with a degree in religious studies. There, she helped plan many conferences that brought to campus eminent theologians.
Rev. Sizoo also introduced her to a close friend and her future husband, the civil engineer and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, who designed the Unisphere, symbol of the 1964 New York World's Fair. The couple were married for 14 years before his death on the Royal Viking Star in 1982 during one of their many Scandinavian cruises.
Mr. Clarke and Rev. Sizoo led an effort to fight the demolition of St. Nicholas, which was eventually torn down in 1949. Mrs. Clarke carried on their work when she served as honorary chairman of the Committee to Save St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, testifying on its behalf in 1988 before the New York - The Historic City Committee, Landmark Preservation for the Twenty-First Century.
Mrs. Clarke has no immediate survivors, but leaves behind many "cherished, all-time and forever friends."
A memorial service will be held on November 18 at 2 p.m. at The Brick Presbyterian Church, Chapel of the Reformed Faith, in New York City. A reception will follow.