Paula Dawne Clarke died in London, Ontario, at age 69, having lived for two-and-a-half years with ovarian cancer, yet embracing every opportunity for travel, good food, and gatherings with family and friends.
Paula was predeceased by her parents, Paul and Aileen Clarke, to whom she gave tender care in their elder years. She leaves her siblings Janis, Jon, Greg, and Julie; brothers-in-law Ray and David; nieces and nephews Raphael, Kim, Gail, Fiona and Thomas; and her great-nephew Gabriel.
Paula was born in Windsor, attended King Edward and Ada C. Richards public schools, Herman Collegiate and the University of Windsor, developing many lifelong friendships at every stage. At age 21 she began a fulfilling career as an elementary school teacher. For over three decades, in Windsor, Toronto and London, she nurtured children’s confidence, joy for learning, and love of reading. Later in her career she provided one-on-one tutoring and play therapy.
Paula’s nieces and nephews meant the world to her, and she was an integral part of their childhood and development–cheering them on at races, music performances and graduations. She offered her calm presence in many quiet hours of school work and life preparation, and supported them in all their milestones, large or small. Her dog Jesse gave her much comfort and companionship, and her charm and friendliness shone as she and Jesse walked the neighbourhood. She enjoyed all kinds of travel: camping in Ontario’s parks, European river cruises, or practicing her French in Paris. She joined meditation groups, sang alto beautifully, and danced whenever she could. But most of all she was deeply happy around a feast table with family, or a board game table with any who would agree to one more round.
Her family wishes to thank the dedicated health care providers and wonderful friends who sustained Paula to the end. We mourn the loss of a precious sister, aunt and friend, but cherish the laughter and memories she gave us.
Paula hosted her own delightful celebration of life four months ago; at her request there will be no funeral. In her memory, in your own way, support a child in need, here or around the world.