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Charlotte Irene Clark, 91, of Perry passed away at the Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, January 4. Irene was born Feb. 16, 1925 in Hollis, OK, the daughter of Charles and Nellie (Bailey) White.
She married Gordon Wendell Clark on Nov. 13, 1942, in Sayre at the home of his aunt and uncle, Laura and Reverend Will Cost, a Baptist preacher, who officiated at the ceremony. Gordon had been in the military about a year. Being in the US Army during war time, honeymoons were discouraged, so the couple never took one.
Irene attended school in Sayre, graduating from Sayre High School in April 1943. At the time of her graduation, she had already been married for several months. She joined Gordon in San Louis Obispo, California after her graduation only to learn three months later he was being shipped to the Southwest Pacific. She came back and established her home in Oklahoma City, went to work at Douglas Aircraft Base. She riveted the nose cone of C-47 cargo airplanes that hauled guns, ammunition, troops and anything that the military needed transported to the war zone. She was a proud "Rosie the Riveter!" In 1944, Irene moved to Berkeley, California and went to work in a bomb factory. She continued this until the end of WW II.
For the five years that Gordon was in the military, Irene saved their combined incomes which provided enough cash for a vehicle in Berkeley which they drove back to Stillwater where they purchased a home for $4,200. Irene attended two years at Oklahoma A & M (now OSU) and has taken numerous classes at Meridian Technology School.
Upon Gordon's graduation from Oklahoma A & M, they spent 11 years in KS from 1949 -1960 living in Hayes, Dodge City, & Fowler. Irene was the classic homemaker - running the home, raising their 9 children, and tending the farms they lived on. She loved gardening, sewing, cooking, and crocheting.
In 1960, the family moved to Perry to purchase the Oklahoma Tire and Supply (OTASCO) store which provided their livelihood until their retirement in 1982. Irene was the glue that held "the store" together, keeping the books, paying the bills, selling merchandise, unloading freight trucks, sweeping the floor, and much more with the help of her children, including the 5 additional ones born in Perry.
In the last few years, Irene enjoyed converting the former OTASCO building into The Event Center at Perry and hosting events in it. She loved doing this for the community of Perry. She also enjoyed having the smaller venue Cedar Event Center. Her children felt having her last event in the Event Center at Perry a fitting tribute.
Irene is survived by 13 children Larry and his wife Marina of Dallas, TX; Terry and his wife Debby, Troutdale, VA; Janet, of Perry; Jackie and her husband Phillip Galvan of Ponca City; Carol and her husband John David Boldt of Glen Rose, TX; David and his wife Pat of Edmond; Kay and her husband Billy Parrish, Granbury, TX; Mark of Sperry; Patti and her husband Mike Crowley of Stillwater; Rena and her husband Scott Wheatley of Perry; Cary and his wife Janet of Edmond; Chris and his wife Linda of Piedmont; and Charles and his wife Debbie, of Edmond.
She was preceded in death by her Parents; husband Gordon, and son Don.
Irene is also survived by 34 grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren, which include biological and step-children.
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