AUGUSTA, Maine — Beth Pendleton Clark, of Augusta, Maine, formerly of Selinsgrove, Pa., died peacefully at the Glenridge Community Living Center on Friday, March 8, 2013.
Beth was born April 15, 1914, in Bradford, N.H., to the Rev. Dr. John Scott and Bessie (Murdoch) Pendleton, spending the majority of her childhood in Bangor and then Waterville, ME. She graduated from Colby College with an AB and then Andover Newton Theological Seminary with a BD degree. An excellent athlete, Beth played on Andover Newton’s tennis team. In 1968 she received a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and in 1981, at the age of 69, she became the first woman to receive a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary.
In 1940, Beth married the Rev. John G. Clark of Augusta, Georgia. As he served churches in the south, she raised their two children as well as served those churches by working with youth, singing in the choir and even directing plays. Once she trimmed her own hair to finish off an actor’s beard. Beth had a beautiful, trained voice that, even in her nineties, was enviable. She was an excellent cook and became known for her pies at the church pot luck suppers. She was an accomplished musician who played the piano, the violin and the bass.
After the death of her husband in 1955, she completed his book, Meditations on the Lord’s Supper, which was published in 1958. She held several professional positions: Executive Director of the YWCAs in Bristol, Tennessee and Asheville, N.C. She was also Dean of Women at Anderson College in Anderson, S.C. and Eastern College in St. David’s, Pennsylvania. Beth was volunteer resources coordinator at the Selinsgrove State School and Hospital from 1965 to 1978.
Following her retirement in 1978, Beth studied and traveled extensively. She studied at the Jungian Institute in Zurich Switzerland, the University of Athens in Greece, the Orthodox Academy on the island of Crete, participated in a study tour of the Holy Land, and attended a seminar at Mansfield College, Oxford, England. She has also visited Australia, New Zealand and China. While serving on the National United Church Board, she visited mission stations in Jamaica, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
During her time in Selinsgrove, Dr. Clark served as president of the Susquehanna Valley Interagency Council, was a member of the Board of Professional Personnel for the SUN Home Nursing Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Managers of the Bethany Children’s Home. She chaired both the Conference Task Force for Women and the County Board for Counseling Services. She was an interim pastor for twenty-one churches in the Penn Central Conference.
Dr. Clark’s name appears in Who’s Who of American Women as well as Who’s Who in Religion. She was honored by her Alma Mater, Colby College, with a request to preach the annual Boardman sermon in 1986.
Dr. Clark was predeceased by her sister, Portia Rideout, in 1996, her brother, John, killed in action in WW 2, a nephew, Charles Arnold Pendleton, in 2011. She was also predeceased by her husband, John, in 1955 and her son, John, in 1999.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in law, Beverly C. and Thomas A. Daggett, of Augusta, Maine; their children, John Thomas and his wife, Beth Harva, of Washington, D.C. , Page Marie of Arlington, Va. and Paul Clark of Springfield, Va.; two very special great-grandchildren, John and Beth’s children, Charlie and Henry; nieces Marilyn Rideout Simmons and husband, Dave, and Jeanne Pendleton Harriman; Jane Pendleton, widow of nephew, Charles; as well as nephews, Ralph and Larry Rideout.
Beverly and Tom would like to thank the staff at Glenridge Long Term Care for their attentive and loving care as well as Beth’s HealthReach Hospice team for their kindness and comforting presence during the last few months of her life.
A memorial service celebrating Dr. Clark’s life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 at South Parish Congregational Church, corner of State St. and Church streets, Augusta, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Claytor Lake Baptist Camp, care of First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1652, Pulaski, VA 24301 or South Parish Congregational Church, 9 Church St., Augusta, ME 04330
Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home, One Church St., Augusta, Maine, where memories, condolences, photos and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com.