Mary Margaret. Clark, 87, of Stagecoach Rd, Portsmouth, RI, passed away peacefully at Newport Hospital on January 11, 2020, following a brief illness. Mary was the wife of Lofton E. “Lee” “L.E.” Clark who preceded her in death in 2013. Born in Ponchatoula, LA, Mary was the daughter of the late Doris Jeanette (Milton Wells) Fendlason and the late Marcelé Levi “Lee” Fendlason. Mary and L.E. moved to Portsmouth in 1964. Mary graduated in 1971 from URI with a BS in Child Development and Family Relations. She retired from teaching at Morton Middle School in Fall River, MA. Mary was instrumental in starting a kindergarten at Middletown Baptist Church where she also taught. She was a lover of music, especially the piano. She had an innate ability of piano playing. She began playing in her small church in Louisiana at the age of 6. Over the years, she played for many weddings, musical events, accompanied singers at churches and she served as the pianist at Middletown Baptist Church.
Mary was known for her extraordinary love for everyone—family, friends, and community. As a mother of 4, grandmother of 5, and great grandmother of 10, she knew what love required of her. She was also the biggest competitor in the family! Whether it was attending countless ballgames with her children or playing cards past midnight, she would fight to win. Most importantly, she left a lasting impact on a community and on generations. Countless neighbors, pastors, and parishioners on Aquidneck Island can share stories of how they were individually touched by Mary’s powerful influence but most importantly she left a legacy now passed on to her family. Today her impact continues to spread as her grandchildren influence the lives of local student athletics, students in China, worshipers in Tennessee and Georgia, prisoners in Indiana and followers of Christ around the globe.
Mary’s life extends beyond her family. She was a woman of great Biblical wisdom and strength. Her compassion for her family and the people of Aquidneck Island and the surrounding communities was exhibited by her willingness to always assist or pray with someone. God’s work was very important to her.
The joy of her life was serving God and the people of Aquidneck Island. She was the owner of Excelsior Religious Gifts and Book Store for 20 years. People of all religious faiths would be warmly welcomed by Mary and could not leave without Mary praying with them. She enjoyed visiting senior citizens in nursing homes and playing the piano and singing with them.
Mary is survived by three children: Kay Campbell, husband Gary, of Cleveland, TN; Sandra Bolcar Smith, husband Kenneth, of Fort Myers, FL; and Douglas Clark, wife Susan, of Newport, RI. Son Jeffery Lee Clark predeceased Mrs. Clark in 1997. Other survivors are sisters Frances Bardwell (wife of the late Jerry Bardwell) of Robert, LA, and Donna Spence (wife of Joseph) of Moss Point, MS, and a brother Glynn E. Fendlason (husband of Linda), of Springfield, LA; five grandchildren: Christopher Bolcar (wife Erika), Clark Campbell (wife Kristen), Nicole Lavigne (husband Josh), Erin Clark Wood (husband Ryan) and Tricia Clark Moccia (husband Andrew); ten great grandchildren: Emma & Reid Campbell, Liam, Peyton, Ethan & Aaron Lavigne, ChrisTopher &Nathaniel Bolcar, & Mary and Maeve Wood.
Mrs. Clark was predeceased in death by her parents, her husband, a son, a great grandson, and a son-in-law.
Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Memorial Funeral Home, 385 Broadway, Newport, RI. A celebration of life will be held at Middletown Baptist Church, 1818 West Main Road, Middletown, RI at 11:00 A.M. Burial will follow in Trinity Cemetery, 367 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mary Clark to The Boys and Girls Club of Newport, 95 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840.