Natalie W. Clark
Natalie W. Clark, a long-time resident of Conway, Arkansas, and more recently Asheville, North Carolina, and Clemson, South Carolina, has died at the age of 93, on Thursday, July 30th, 2020, in Long Creek, South Carolina.
Natalie grew up in Little River County, Arkansas, the youngest child of James H. and Margaret P. Williams. She graduated from Ashdown High School, attended Hendrix College for two years, and completed her undergraduate degree at Eastern Illinois University in elementary education. She met her husband, Tom, at Eastern, and they lived and worked on the Clark family farm for eight years before moving to Conway, where Tom began a teaching career at Hendrix.
In 1968, Natalie co-founded the Clifton Day Care Center at First United Methodist Church. It was the first racially integrated day care in Conway and assisted low-income families for almost thirty years. The Department of Social Services described the center as one of the outstanding day care centers in Arkansas.
“Her gentle but intelligent and loving approach to political, cultural, and social issues influenced so many and made us better people, as well,” said Bruce Haggard, emeritus distinguished professor of biology at Hendrix College.
Natalie volunteered for many other organizations in Conway, serving as president of Faulkner County Friends of the Library for a number of years and serving on the Habitat for Humanity selection committee. She was a member of Conway Shakespeare Club, Women’s Investment Network, Conway Civic League, League of Women Voters, Hendrix Dames, and First United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir. She also worked as a legal secretary for the Henry and Graddy law firm.
After moving to Asheville in ‘99, Natalie attended the UNC College for Seniors and pursued a life-long interest in tap dancing. She performed with and later managed the Rascals tap dance group and taught tap to seniors after moving to Clemson Downs retirement community.
Natalie is preceded in death by a daughter, Janet, her husband of thirty-eight years, Tom, one brother, four sisters, and two nephews. She is survived by three children—Nancy Lewis (Patrick Coyne) of La Honda, California, Patterson Clark (Lenore Rubino) of Washington, DC, and Holly Coburn (Bill) of Long Creek, South Carolina—one grandchild, Jackson Lewis (Amber Marshall) of Newport Beach, California, and her devoted granddog Maggie.
The family is planning a service in Conway, Arkansas, for a future date.
Memorials in Natalie’s memory may be made to Hendrix College, 1600 Washington Avenue Conway, Arkansas, 72032, or the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), 458 Ponce De Leon Avenue North East, Atlanta, Georgia, 30308, www.umcor.org/ Sandifer Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.