Carol Joyce Clark

Clark—Carol Joyce Clark, 72, on April 9, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pa. Carol was born in 1951 to Molly Margaret Simon and Alexander Kenneth Clark in Orange, N.J. She graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University in New Jersey then went on to get a dual degree—a master’s in political science and juris doctor—from Rutgers University–Newark.

Hers was a lifetime of service. While living in New York City, she worked at the American Indian Community House in Manhattan and at Staten Island Borough Hall. After she moved with her children to Morrisville, Pa., she ran the Urban Women’s Center in Trenton, N.J.; worked as a mobile therapist for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health; then worked for both the N.J. Department of Human Services and the N.J. Department of Children and Families.

Upon moving to Pennsylvania, Carol joined the Religious Society of Friends, eventually becoming the clerk of Unity Meeting in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Unity Meeting has the oldest meetinghouse in the city of Philadelphia, having been built in 1775. It now sits in a poor, mostly African American neighborhood that is plagued by gun violence and poverty.

As clerk, Carol started an after school program and other community outreach, providing a safe haven for generations of neighborhood children. Her presence at Unity put Quaker testimonies within reach of a community that is often left on the outside of the Religious Society of Friends.

Carol provided a visceral example of Quaker testimonies—especially the testimony of equality. Every person she encountered—the children most of all—knew that she saw that of God in them. She not only saw the divine Light in others, she celebrated it with them. Carol’s Quaker practice was not isolated from the world; it was fully part of it, with the hope that all people can take part in the joy of the Light. The world was a much brighter place because Carol was in it.

Anyone who knew Carol knew two things: she loved the color red and you should never call her during Jeopardy!. She was also known for her mom jokes and love of travel, visiting places such as Portugal, Mexico, Korea, China, Japan, Canada, England, and France. Carol also loved collecting African and Asian art; watching British mystery shows; cooking and baking; trying out various restaurants; and listening to music, both old and new.

Carol was predeceased by her parents, Molly Margaret Simon and Alexander Kenneth Clark; a sister, Sandra; a brother, Steven; and a grandson, Maximilian.

She is survived by her children, including Mercedes and Adam; two grandchildren; and a brother, Kenneth.

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