Obituary of Gillian Mary Clarke
Gillian Mary Clarke was born on March 24, 1928, in Birmingham, England. On November 8, 2023, she quietly became one of God’s Angels.
Most of her early life was centered in Birmingham, England where she became an accomplished ballerina. It was there that she was invited to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s main auditorium in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 1944, she met the love of her life, Staff Sargent Gorden Clarke, who was stationed in London. They were married in England on September 25, 1945. Her new husband had to return to the United States soon after the wedding. In April of 1946 and traveling alone, she was able to leave England to make her way to America to finally be with her husband. Together they created a wonderful life in New Jersey where they raised two daughters. Through the years, she became a scout leader, a ballroom dance instructor and a merchandise buyer for a major department store.
After retiring, they moved to Winter Haven, Florida. Certainly, retirement did not slow her down. She thoroughly enjoyed taking care of two of her grandchildren and three of her great grandchildren. For 39 years, she was a beloved volunteer with Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital.
Gillian was an amazingly kind, gracious and generous lady who held her head high and would do anything for anyone. Everyone she met became part of her family and was known as “Nana” or “Great Nana” to everyone young and old. This matriarch will be dearly missed by her family and all who knew her. She is survived by her daughters Beryl Saltern (Bobby) and Linda Watson (Bill), grandchildren Trevor, Kelley, Meghan, Kathleen, Aaron, Gillian; step-grandchildren Matthew, Kelly, Hunter, Carrol and Casey; twelve great grandchildren and so many people she included as her family.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, November 16, at 3:30 PM at Grace Lutheran Church in Winter Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Lutheran School, 320 Bates Ave. SE, Winter Haven, FL 33880.