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Clifton and Nancy Clarke


Nancy, 89, and Clifton Clarke, 91, died within days of each other on April 19th and April 21st, 2020, in Norristown, PA. They would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 26th.

Clifton (Clif) Albert Clarke, Jr., was born on October 16, 1928, in Haverhill, MA, to Clifton A. Clarke, Sr., and Agatha (Kayton) Clarke. Clif attended Haverhill schools and graduated from Haverhill High School, class of 1946. In 1947, he joined the army and served in the Korean conflict, receiving the WWII Victory medal and Army of Occupation medal. Following an honorable discharge, he attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Clif worked for GE in several cities around the country and for Boeing in Seattle. He worked with pride on the Boeing 777 aircraft and published a seminal technical paper on aircraft electromagnetic compatibility. He retired from Boeing in 1993. In his free time, Clif enjoyed hiking, sailing, golfing and genealogy.

Nancy Pauline (Burden) Clarke was born on April 11, 1931, in Philadelphia, PA, to Dr. Verne Burden and Pauline (Carr) Burden. She graduated with honors from Sacred Heart Academy in 1949 and attended 2 years at Rosemont College. In her early career in Philadelphia, she wrote for the Main Line Times and was a feature writer and reporter for the Evening and Sunday Bulletin (now defunct). At the Bulletin, she interviewed and profiled personalities of the day, including Barbara Walters, Pearl Bailey, and Gypsy Rose Lee. After she and Clif moved to the Seattle area, Nancy was a freelance writer for the Seattle Times and worked for Aglow Publications as the newsletter editor. Nancy loved to read, write, and spend time with friends.

When Clif and Nancy were married in 1970, they lived in Philadelphia, PA. In 1973, they moved to Bellevue, WA, where they were faithful members of Newport Covenant Church. Following retirement, they moved to Sun City, AZ, where they were active members of their community and New Hope Covenant Church. In 2006, Clif suffered a stroke which took away his speech, but not his engineer's mindset. In 2011, they moved back to the Philadelphia area to be close to family. In recent years, Nancy endured the progressive effects of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases but never lost her graciousness.

Clif and Nancy are survived by their daughter Connie Davidson (Patrick) of Ottawa, Canada, Clif's daughters Sharon Clarke-Washington (Barry) of Phoenixville, PA, and Nancy Diamantopoulos (Jim) of Dracut, MA, Clif's brother Jim Clarke of Vail, CO, grandchildren Lauren Washington, Meredith Washington, Kristin Clarke-Tellier (Mike), Ryan Clarke, Stephen Diamantopoulos, Virginia Davidson, and Sadie Davidson, great-grandchildren Jaylen, Philip, Arcadia, Joeleis, and Acasha, and great-great-grandchildren Adrian and Aiden. They were preceded in death by their parents, Clif's sister Virginia, brother Robert, and son Clifton Clarke III, and Nancy's sisters Connie McIntyre and Sally Burden.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Haverhill, MA, where they will be buried. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association or the Cure Alzheimer's Fund.

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