Dorothy Clark
Dorothy Clark
  • November 8, 1926 - January 9, 2018
  • Portland, Oregon

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Celebration of Life Service
Dorothy Clark
January 20, 2018
Finley Sunset Hills Funeral Home


Every LIFE has a STORY. Just like a BOOK, each person's LIFE gets written from beginning to end.

Word for word, chapter by chapter, the narrative unfolds to both entertain & inspire us. If you're anything like me, you look for a really good plot, a memorable setting & a main character that could clearly be a HEROINE. Mostly, you hope the BOOK is so good that you can't stop reading it. And to say in the end: "Wow! That was a page turner. One of my finest reads."

Dorothy Clark's LIFE STORY was exactly like a favorite BOOK you'll never forget and want to completely recommend to others.

Today, the pages of Dorothy Clark's captivating LIFE is inked forever on your hearts from cover to cover.

Let's begin our time together with the song, MOON RIVER, one Dorothy herself requested be used for her service. Her neighbor Alison Retz will sing it for us. MOON RIVER was doubly special to Dorothy because her twin daughters used to sing it in two-part harmony.

CHAPTER ONE begins when little Dorothy was born in the early winter on November 8, 1926. She was born in Redlands CA when her parents, Carrie and Chub Warren were visiting her maternal grandparents. But Dorothy always liked to think of herself as a 3rd generation native Oregonian. Dorothy's 'home on the range' was a wheat ranch located just southwest of Pendleton OR. The scene of her childhood was living in a home that had no phone or electricity. Her playground was acres of hills with sagebrush and rim rocks to explore on foot or horseback. Being so isolated on the farm as an only child with not many neighbors for miles around, Dorothy entertained herself by having a little TEA PARTY with her horse, her cat and her dogs. She herself said: "They were faithful friends who didn't argue, tattle or bite, except in self-defense. "

She had to learn to milk the cows and feed the chickens and gather their eggs and she did it, a child who contributed to the demands of farm life. Fortunately, her dad's brothers all had adjacent farms so Dorothy had many cousins that were her human companions and fulfilled her desire for peer connection.

As a child, since there was no television, they listened to the radio. The family enjoyed listening to ORPHAN ANNIE. Dorothy told about how she always called it 'ARF and ANNIE' because it sounded like the same word her dog said: 'ARF! '

She attended school in a one-room schoolhouse so typical for the times especially growing up in rural areas. It was quite a distance away. She walked to school and sometimes maybe even rode her horse. The first schoolhouse she attended only had two students. Marilyn stated: "So she had to know all the answers." At some point she moved to another one-room schoolhouse that had eight students. There, it got a bit more exciting. The teacher had red geraniums on her piano but they strangely kept disappearing. The teacher kept asking the students: "Why are these flowers disappearing?" Then one day, Dorothy thought she saw a red petal under the piano and told the teacher. So the teacher had the two big HUDSON boys lift that piano to see if they could solve the mystery? Well, imagine everyone's reaction when they lifted it and a packrat jumped out? Those two HUDSON boys dropped that piano lickity split. That day the piano was ruined and the packrat was ruined but the red geraniums once again thrived visibly in a world where there was no harm.

During hay season, Dorothy helped her mother indoors but she also told about how at the age of 15, she drove the hay combine with 30 or so horses attached to it, and how she greased the bearings on the combine.

CHAPTER TWO begins with adolescence. It was time for Dorothy to attend Middle School but it was 17 miles away so she went to board with her aunt and uncle during the school week and looked forward to coming home on weekends. At Pendleton High School, she described herself as really shy, but she made friends there, friendships she was able to maintain her entire life.

Dorothy always loved when her father would ride up on his horse and ask her mother: "Hey sweetheart, want to go for a ride over the hill?" Dorothy always thought this scene was real chivalrous, a true authentic cowboy moment, and nothing could be more romantic.

CHAPTER THREE sees Dorothy finding her niche as a 'successful college girl.' She enrolled at Eastern Oregon State College studying there for two years majoring in Elementary Education. Her children told me: "Mom really blossomed in college and again, made lifelong friends. She was so pretty, that she was the princess of the EVENSONG court."

Dorothy transferred to the University of Oregon where she completed her Bachelor's degree in Education and also minored in Art. She learned to paint and draw and was good at both of them.

CHAPTER FOUR is an incredibly exciting chapter for Dorothy. She meets the man who would eventually become her husband, Evert Clark, on a blind date. They went to a movie called "Frankenstein Meets Laurel & Hardy." Dorothy said what we all are thinking: "What an un-romantic 1st date that was!"

Dorothy easily fell in love with Evert and his family as they were a fun-loving and boisterous and extremely talkative bunch. Dorothy appreciated the predictable liveliness of the Clark family especially since she had been an only child.

Dorothy and Evert married a year or so later in the sunlight of summer on August 14, 1949 at a Presbyterian Church in Pendleton OR, Dorothy wearing a beautiful wedding gown. She had many bridesmaids-mostly Evert's sisters.

CHAPTER FIVE tells about how in 1948-1949, Dorothy taught her first class in Bend OR. In those days, 4th grade boys played