YARMOUTH — Karen Brown Clarke, 85, died Aug. 6 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1925 she was born in her grandparents’ house in Portland, a daughter of Mary Fletcher Brown and Simmons Brown.
She graduated from the Waynflete School in Portland and Smith College.
An early environmentalist, she was a founder and chair of the Simsbury, Conn. Conservation Commission.
While living in Connecticut, she also sang in the chorus of the Simsbury Light Opera Company.
After her daughters grew older, she became a rated water paddler with the Appalachian Mountain Club, and joined her husband Gordon on extended wilderness canoe trips in Maine, Quebec, Ontario, and the Northwest Territories.
In addition to her outdoor pursuits, she began work as a cataloger for a large private library of rare books on ornithology. When the collection was donated to Trinity College, she was named the curator of its ornithology collection.
The family is grateful to the staff at Beacon Hospice, Home Instead, and especially to Bay Square at Yarmouth for the gentle care they provided.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Gordon Clarke of Falmouth; two daughters, Kristina Clarke of Petaluma, Calif., and Amanda Clarke Shipley of Andover, Mass., her husband, Louis and three grandchildren; and siblings, Fletcher Brown and Joan Brown Smith, both of Falmouth.
Memorial services are private.
Arrangements are by Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth, ME 04096.
Please visit lindquistfuneralhome.com to share condolences, memories and wishes with the Clarke family.
Memorial contributions may be mailed to Alzheimer’s Association – Maine Chapter, 170 US Route 1, Suite 250, Falmouth, ME 04105.