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In Memory Of Our Poets

Susan Ann Clarke (1945-2019) - Class Of 1964

Susan Ann Clarke died on July 1, 2019, in Asheville, North Carolina, from complications caused by early-onset dementia. She was 73. Ms. She is predeceased by her parents John C and Carolyn M Clarke and by her older sister Carolyn L Clarke.

Clarke is survived by her sister Ellen G Clarke and her brother-in-law John H Byrd, Jr of Asheville and their loving family, including her nieces Joanna C Wade (Brian); Abigail Clarke-Sayer (Warren Berry); Erwin Byrd (Dave Sims); Margaret Byrd (Judson Bledsoe) and nephew John H. Byrd III (Vanessa Cram). She is also survived by their children, Ms. Clarke's great-nieces and nephews: Margot and Theodore Wade; Owen Berry; Harry and Anne Sims; Maisie, Reece and Curren Bledsoe; and Joe and Ben Byrd.

Susan Clarke was born on December 19, 1945, in Montgomery, Alabama. Ms. Clarke attended Montgomery public schools, graduating from Sidney Lanier High School in 1964. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, graduating in the class of 1968. Later Ms. Clarke obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Ms. Clarke lived a full and active life in Atlanta.

By the mid-1970s, after a brief stint working with young folks, Susan found her true calling: "the Christmas business." For most of her professional life, Susan worked at AmericasMart in various capacities as showroom manager and regional manager with companies such as Sylvestri and Villeroy & Boch, among others. After many years juggling showroom responsibilities with sales trips across the Southeast US, Susan moved on to join the team at the Atlanta Botanical Garden where she managed their visitor center and gift shop.

An avid gardener herself, Susan enjoyed being in the mix at the Botanical Garden with their fun and imaginative events such as Chihuly's first exhibit and installation in 2004. Ready to downsize her work life, in 2008, Susan returned to Agnes Scott College to help in the Admissions Office greeting prospective studies and their families. She retired in 2011.

In retirement Susan, a gifted gardener amped-up projects in and around her sweet Buckhead bungalow. Having been an avid runner and participant in the Atlanta July 4 Road Race for many years, she replaced that adventure with daily walks around her beautiful neighborhood often with dearest friends from college days.

Susan Clarke had a full and rich life in her beloved Atlanta until her struggle with early-onset dementia finally necessitated her move in October 2016 to Asheville, North Carolina to live nearby her family.

On Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 AM there will be an interment service for Susan Ann Clarke in the Garth of the Cathedral of All Souls, Asheville, North Carolina. On Saturday, August 10 at 3:00 PM there will be a celebration of her life at Agnes Scott College, Decatur Georgia.

In gratitude for, and to memorialize, the wonderful life of Susan Ann Clarke, our family has selected two remarkable projects for your consideration:

  • At The River: Profiles in Quiet Courage, a documentary film recognizing Deep South Presbyterian ministers who often at great risk to themselves and their families championed the civil rights movement. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to

    At the River
    c/o Auburn Theological Seminary

    475 Riverside Drive - Suite 1800
    New York NY 10115 

  • MemoryCare is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide specialized medical care to older adults with cognitive impairment; to support caregivers with education, counseling and improved access to services; and to provide community education. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to:

    100 Far Horizons Lane
    Asheville NC 28803

Morris Funeral & Cremation Service, Asheville, NC is in charge of arrangements.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from July 14 to Aug. 4, 2019