With great sadness, Judith Helen Clark’s family announces her passing after a brief illness on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the age of 75. Judy passed away peacefully in her home with her immediate family at her side. She will be remembered lovingly by her daughters, family and friends.
Judy is survived by her three daughters and their spouses/partners: Kim Perris (Steve Perris), Wendy Lind (Jon Lind), Carrie Clark (Ed Carr), her grandchildren, and their partners: Taylor Perris (Will Gregg) and Ian Perris (Lauren Porter). She is also survived by numerous other family members and a big, beautiful group of friends.
Judy was born to Francis and Bernice O’Brien in Saugus, Calif., on April 7, 1946. She was the youngest of four children. Judy grew up in southern California, where she lived much of her life. In 1965 she met the love of her life, Frank Clark. While working as a waitress at JJ Newbury Holland House, she asked a handsome young customer if there was anything else she could do for him and he replied, “yes, you could go out with me.” She said “OK” and on their second date, he proposed. Frank and Judy were married three months later.
This relationship began a lifelong love affair and friendship filled with many adventures, including a large loving family. Frank and Judy provided each other the stability they did not have growing up. They prioritized their relationship above all else, and they were committed to ensuring their children knew they were loved and supported. Frank and Judy made a pact as a young couple never to go to bed angry, and if there was tension they used the phrase “I love you five.” Frank and Judy were married for 56 years until Frank passed away on April 7, 2021.
Judy had a long career in marketing and advertising which began when she moved to Eureka, Calif. with Frank and their children in 1981. Judy worked in radio and newspaper advertising in Eureka for 20 years until she and Frank moved to Lake County, Calif., and eventually to Eugene, Ore. in 2006.
Throughout her career, Judy built strong relationships within the community and learned the value of listening to people’s stories about their work and their business. That experience served her well when she went to work for Springfield Chamber of Commerce in 2006, where she continued to work until her passing.
Judy thrived in her work for the Chamber. Initially, there were no positions open; Judy said, “that’s OK, I’ll volunteer.” It wasn’t long before she was recognized for her dedication and work ethic and was added to the payroll and became a valued team member. Judy’s approach to building relationships was through old-fashioned handshakes, personal visits and phone calls just to check-in. She genuinely cared about the people behind the business and made many dear friends throughout her career.
In recent years, Judy took a particular interest in promoting the Chamber’s WorkReady programs that offer career exploration, supplies, classroom equipment, scholarships, internships, and mentorships to local students in support of their career and technical education choices.
Judy came to her position at the Chamber as the town of Springfield was in the process of reinventing itself. She was sincerely committed to the success and wellbeing of the businesses she represented and worked tirelessly toward working with the community to rebuild Springfield. Judy and Frank were a team in this effort and were integral to Springfield businesses’ growth and the spirit of the community that exists today.
Judy loved her family and kept in close contact with her sisters, Ricki Hendricks and Geri McCarty, and had frequent calls with her daughters between personal visits. Judy looked forward to family events, large and small, and was frequently up into the wee hours laughing and telling stories with any night owls who would stay up with her. Her favorite season of the year was spring when it was warm enough to sit out in her yard with some coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy the sunshine or the stars, sitting around the patio table or the fire pit with family and friends.
We will miss Judy’s (mom’s) wit, energy, and enthusiasm for celebrating life. While her passing leaves us with broken hearts and a hole in our family, we know that she would want us to celebrate her life’s experiences and the memories she left behind.
The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center, for their caring support for her and her family during her last month on earth. They would also like to thank Cascade Hospice for facilitating a peaceful passing in her home with family at her side.
There will be a Celebration of Life with family, friends, and community to honor her life and spirit in the springtime. Please save the date for May 28, 2022 on your calendar.
In place of flowers, we invite you to donate to one of the following causes that Judy cared deeply about: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, WorkReady Fund: mail to PO Box 155, Springfield, OR 97477 or to Volunteers in Medicine: online at vim-clinic.org.