It is with heavy hearts that the family of Mathilda Frances Clarke, 96, of 550 Osborne St., Fort Frances, Ont., announces the passing of our beloved mother on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances with family by her side.
She was born Feb. 8, 1914 in Rainy River, Ont., the oldest of 11 children born to George and Mary Jane Godin.
She moved to Fort Frances when she was 16 to live with her Uncle Louis and Aunt Mary Camirand.
On Oct. 26, 1937, she married Thomas Clarke and together they raised five children.
She is survived by her sons, Coke Clarke (Maria) and Paul Clarke (Joyce), and daughter, Julie Lowry (Brian), all of Fort Frances, Ont.; brother, Almer Godin of Rainy River, Ont.; sisters, Merle Lind of Sudbury, Ont., Irene Connon of Calgary, Alta., and Eleanor Sonstegard of Baudette, Mn.; brother-in-law, Tom Connon of Fort Frances, Ont.; and sister-in-law, Maggie Clarke of Fort Frances, Ont.
Also surviving are her grandchildren, Darcy Ruport (Brenda) and Wanda Gilmer (Scott) of International Falls, Mn., Leland Ruport (Connie) of Oslo, Mn., Billy-Jo Clarke of Lac La Biche Alta., Sharlene Clarke of Martinsburg, W.Va., Tyler Lowry (Amy) of Sioux Lookout, Ont., and Shawn Lowry (Melanie) of Winnipeg, Man.; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband of almost 50 years, Tom Sr.; parents, Mary Jane and George Godin; mother- and father-in-law, Elizabeth and Patrick Clarke; daughter, Rosalie Ruport and son-in-law, Robert Ruport; son, Tom Jr.; brothers, George Godin Jr. (Margaret), Emil Godin (Iona), Wilfred Godin (Clara), and Louis Godin (Laura); sisters, Yvonne Almers (John) and Pearl Connon; brothers-in-law, Gene Lind, Fred Connon, Jack Clarke, and Patrick “Ed” Clarke; and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Godin, and Henrietta “Ettie” Linsten (Clyde).
More than anything, her family meant the world to her and she looked forward to visits from family and friends alike, and especially enjoyed seeing and watching the young ones.
She, along with husband, Tom, bowled for many, many years and had won many awards. In fact, she was an honourary Life Member of the Sunset Country 5 Pin Bowling Association.
Her many talents included gardening, housekeeping, giving home perms, and cooking. She never knew how many friends we would bring home for a delicious supper, but always was prepared.
She was most noted for her seamstress skills, from wedding dresses to parkas to baby clothes.
Over the years, she was involved in organizations such as the Women of the Moose Club in International Falls and the Women’s Institute, and also was a Life Member of the ladies’ auxiliary to the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29.
She also was a member of the Happy Time Club at the Sister Kennedy Centre, where she played smear and cribbage right up until her passing.
She had the first of many strokes in February, 1991, but they didn’t keep her down long. Her determination helped her to return to her apartment and keep on living the way she had been before the strokes, except she wasn’t able to bowl again.
When her heart warned her to slow down and take it easy, she made the decision to move to Rainycrest Long-Term Care Home. She became a resident on April 19, 2007 and greatly enjoyed the activities there, such as coffee time, baking, popcorn parties, church services, and organized outings for shopping, suppers, and picnics at Sunny Cove.
She especially enjoyed and appreciated the caring staff.
A tea in honour of Mom will be held Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 from 2-4 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29 in Fort Frances.
A family graveside service will be held Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to a charity of your choice c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at
As children, we can’t comprehend or fully realize the meaning of our mother’s love, how tender and how wise, the patience and forgiveness that are part of every day, the unexpected “little things” she does in her own way.
Years go by before we can look back on life and see, through older eyes and wiser hearts, her love and loyalty.
And yet it’s these and other special things we’ll hold so dear, for memories of her steadfast love will keep her ever near.