February 10, 1941 – June 3, 2023
It’s with a deep sense of loss that we announce the passing of Marcia Clarke on June 3, 2023. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family, after a prolonged struggle with dementia.
Marcia was born on February 10, 1941, in Vancouver as the younger of two sisters. She was a strong-willed child, always getting up to mischief with her little gang of friends. She loved to run like the wind and play baseball in the schoolyard across the street from her house. When she was a teenager, she joined the army cadets and learned how to march and shoot a rifle.
She met her best friend Kitty’s brother Tom when she was in high school, and they were married a few years later. She moved away from the big city to live with Tom on Minstrel Island.
Five years and two daughters later, the family moved to Campbell River where Marcia found employment at BC Tel. She started as a telephone operator before eventually becoming a clerk in the Engineering department. Always up for a new challenge, she learned how to use a computer for her job at a time when computers were not very user-friendly. Think DOS, Word Perfect, and Lotus 123 and not a mouse in sight.
While working for BC Tel, Marcia became heavily involved with the union. She fought tirelessly for better working conditions for her co-workers, walking picket lines, attending meetings and conventions and, on one memorable occasion, occupying the BC Tel building.
Marcia eventually took early retirement but her desire to try new things did not retire. She taught herself to play the piano and took courses to learn how to paint. She loved to travel and made road trips to visit old friends, often driving long distances alone. Her travel bucket list was complete when her daughters took her to Hawaii for her 75th birthday. It had been her lifelong dream and she was not disappointed. She loved every moment, especially greeting the sea turtles in the morning from the backyard of a rental house on the north shore of Oahu.
Marcia was the family historian and storyteller. Her stories are a wonderful legacy that she leaves to her family and friends. They are her gift to us and we will carry them with us always.
Marcia is survived by her sister Fennetta, her husband Tom, her daughters Kathleen (Berno) and Fennetta (Chris), and her grandchildren Andrew (Leanne) and Laura (Jake). She also leaves behind many long-time friends, as well as Daisy the Dog, and the ever-elusive Mimi Jones.
To quote Marcia’s favourite cowboy, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again”. You made a difference, and we will miss you.
There will be a Celebration of Life on July 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Please bring your Marcia stories to share.
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