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1926 Mary 2020

Mary Lou Smith Clark Young

February 19, 1926 — August 7, 2020

Mary Lou Smith Clark Young, 94, departed her family and friends on August 7, 2020 at Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC. Mary Lou was born in Youngstown, Ohio to Hilda and Claude Smith. She was the older sister to John “Jack” Gilbert Smith. She always had life-long values of love for family, dedication, loyalty, civility, hard work, humility, and selflessness.

Upon graduating from Stephens College, Columbia, MO, she embarked on a teaching career. She loved inspiring children and continued it until she met the love of her life, Willis “Bill” W. Clark II in Cleveland, OH. During their time in Hunting Valley, a suburb of Cleveland, they raised five children (Rick, Jeff, Bill, Claudia and Marlo “Mollie”). With a 21 year age difference between the oldest and the youngest, their life revolved around their kids. They were often asked, with five kids at wide ranging ages, were they Catholic to which Mary Lou always responded, “No, Bill and I are just passionate Baptists!”

Upon Bill’s retirement in 1977, they moved south to John’s Island in Vero Beach, FL. Once settled, Mary Lou and her daughter, Claudia, opened their first of two fine gift stores. Mary Lou was known for her style and grace. Whether it was dressing fashionably for any occasion or accessorizing home interiors, Mary Lou exuded impeccable taste.

Bill and Mary Lou loved to travel, play golf, and boat on the Indian River waterways. They were well aware of the great life they had and as a result, joyfully and generously contributed back to their community, church, schools, and child welfare organizations.

Mary Lou experienced great loss when her beloved Bill passed away in 1998. She lived a quiet life until she married Robert H. Young of Philadelphia, PA and Vero Beach in 2002. They enjoyed their golden years together at John’s Island and then The Forest, Durham, NC where Bob passed away in 2018.

Our mother often commented that she felt she never contributed anything significant to this world. Her children will tell you, however, that is far from the truth. Her greatest accomplishment was being the definition of a loving mom and “Namie” who instilled kindness and hard work to every single family member. We are the people we are today because of the brilliant light she shined upon us. She is survived by Rick and Mary Clark, Leesburg, FL; Jeff and Ginger Clark, Denver, CO; Bill and Lynn Clark, Charleston, SC; Claudia and David Attarian, Durham, NC; and Marlo and Les Fredeen, Morehead City, NC. She is also survived by ten adoring grandchildren: David Clark, Allison Killion and Christine Brawn, Heather Bludau, Greg and Drew Clark, Caitie and Matthew Attarian, and Ardan and Graysen Fredeen, in addition to five wonderful great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Vera Smith, Guilford, CT.

The repercussions of Covid weighed heavily on mom. She worried about those in need during these especially hard times. Please, in lieu of flowers, donate to your local food bank, veteran’s organization, hospital or place of worship. That would have brought her the greatest joy.

A private service is planned for a future date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou Smith Clark Young, please visit our flower store.


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