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Elizabeth Sloan Clarke (Beth) passed away on December, 31, 2017. She was born in Fayetteville, TN, on August 9, 1926, the only child of Dr. Everette Askins Sloan and Anna May Pressly Sloan. The family moved to Chicago in 1936 for her father to obtain his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. In 1938, they moved to Due West, South Carolina where her father was a professor of chemistry and later dean at Erskine College for many years until his retirement. Beth attended high school in Due West and college at Erskine College, graduating in 1947 with a major in chemistry and minor in math. After graduation, she studied Medical Technology at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta then worked in Decatur, GA, until her marriage to Robert (Bob) Smith Clarke, Jr., MD in July 1951. Bob was also from Due West but five years older so their paths did not cross during their high school and college days. Their friendship began while he was completing his internship at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta after 4 years of service in the USMC during WWII.
They moved to Due West, SC in 1951 for Bob to practice with Dr. W. L." Buck" Pressly, MD. After later practicing in Clemson, SC, and Kentucky, they moved to Charleston SC for Bob to complete his residency. While there, Beth worked at the Medical University of South Carolina Clinical Chemistry laboratory and taught Physical Education at St. Andrews High School. The final move for the Clarke family was back to Due West, SC, in 1960 to the Blackwell/Clarke family farm that had been in Bob's family for two generations. They raised three children here and were active lifelong members of the Due West ARP Church. Beth served her community, her church, and Erskine College for many years. She served two terms on the Erskine Board of Counselors; she was inducted into the Erskine College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 for her outstanding play on the Erskine tennis team; she received the Erskine Service Award in 2007. She was an avid tennis player, bridge player, and member of the ARP Choir. With her friend Linda W. Gettys, they produced dozens of beautifully handcrafted oak and walnut furniture pieces for friends and family.
She was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, and is survived by three children Ann Judd (Gene) of Due West, Catherine Dickey (David) of Savannah, and Bobby Clarke (Paula) of Due West; 6 grandchildren, Benjamin Stewart Califf of Charleston, Christina Ann Zanoff (Parker) of Columbus GA, Robert Everette Clarke of Charleston, Lydia Cothran Clarke, Andrew Coleman Clarke, and Samuel Thomas Clarke of Due West; one great granddaughter, Amelia Mae Zanoff of Columbus GA, our wonderful family friend of 50+ years, Florence Donald Norman of Honea Path and our beloved cat Belle (age 18).
Beth was the steady rock and the unwavering foundation for family successes. Her humor, dry wit, exceptional talent, keen intellect, and sage advice will be truly missed. Her family is blessed to have been the beneficiaries of her love and support.
The family wishes to express profound gratitude to all of her supportive friends, especially Dr. Heidi Rodillo, Mrs. Dot Carter, Ms. Evelyn Barmore, and Mrs. Rose Ann Rosser; and to the administration and staff of the Abbeville Nursing Home who cared for her so lovingly during her last few months. The attention and gentle care that was provided to her by all the terrific caregivers is deeply appreciated.
Services for Mrs. Clarke will be Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at the Due West ARP Church. The family will receive friends immediately after the service. Burial in the church cemetery will be private
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be considered for Erskine College PO Box 338 Due West, SC 29639, the Due West ARP Church PO Box 397 Due West, SC 29639, the Everette Askins Sloan Chemistry Scholarship fund at Erskine College PO Box 338 Due West, SC 29639, the Humane Society of Abbeville County c/o Gary Cooke 503 Church Street Abbeville, SC 29620, or a charity of choice.
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