1925 – 2012
Polly Ann King Clark, 87, passed away on October 3 at her South Pasadena home. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Arcadia and in 1943 graduated from Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte High School (affectionately known as “MAD”). From time to time, when reminded of MAD, Polly would sing out the school song “M – A – D, our hats are off to you ….”
After graduating from MAD, she attended UCLA where she became a proud and loyal Bruin for life. Polly earned her BA and a teaching credential from UCLA in 1947. She then taught elementary school in Pasadena and in Brookline, Massachusetts.
In 1949, Polly met and married the love of her life, Bradbury Clark. Polly and Brad enjoyed 62 wonderful years together until Brad’s passing in July, 2011. They raised three children together, Cynthia Clark Maxwell (who passed away in 2002), Rufus Bradbury Clark IV, and John A. Clark. Later they were proud and doting grandparents to Ryan and John Maxwell and Rufus Bradbury V.
After marrying, Polly and Brad settled in South Pasadena. They became life-long members of St. James Church. At St. James, Polly participated in the St. Agnes Guild and worked on fund-raising activities for the Episcopal Church’s Hillsides home in Pasadena for foster children.
After Cindy was born, Polly gave up her teaching career to become a full time mother. It was obvious to all that Polly loved her children so much and enjoyed being a full time mother. She loved to read to her children and to take them to museums and other enriching activities. She spent many hours volunteering in her children’s activities, such as being a Cub Scout Den Mother and a Room Mother and Library Assistant at the Monterey Hills Elementary School.
When the last of the kids left the nest for college, Polly rekindled her passion for teaching. She helped Ginger Kruger start the Neurological Learning Center in Pasadena which helped adults with brain injuries regain their cognitive skills. At the Center, Polly worked one-on-one with her students on various drills to improve memory and verbal skills. Some years later, she volunteered as a Teacher’s Aide at the Dolores Mission School in Boyle Heights. At the school, she taught small groups of children reading skills, vocabulary and geography. In addition to her many independent volunteer endeavors, she enthusiastically joined Brad in his many church and community activities.
Polly’s years at UCLA instilled in her a deep passion for all things UCLA. She and Brad attended UCLA home football and basketball games for some 30 plus years. After a victory, she loved to sing “By the Old Pacific’s Rolling Waters”, one of UCLA’s school songs.
Polly was a great friend to many. She always remembered her friends’ birthdays and anniversaries. Kind and caring, she supported her friends during their difficult times. She had a great capacity to make people feel at ease and welcome. Although Polly will be deeply missed by all who knew her, we will always remember her warm smile and twinkle in her eyes, and the love and kindness she radiated.
A memorial service will be held on October 14, 2012, at 3:00 pm at St. James Church, 1325 Monterey Road, South Pasadena. Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno will preside, and the Rev. Canon Anne Tumilty, rector of St. James’ Church, will celebrate the Eucharist. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions may be made in Polly’s memory to the UCLA Foundation.
Obituary by John A. Clark.