Katherine Clark 1916-2020
Katherine Elizabeth Kreamer Clark, 104, of Holton, passed away Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at Vintage Park in Holton.
She was born March 25, 1916, to Fred Vincent Kreamer and Sally Elizabeth Harrison Kreamer in Jewell. Maternal grandparents Hugh and Luella Jordan Harrison raised Katherine and her younger sister, Charlotte Augusta, in Jewell when their mother died following Charlotte’s birth in 1923.
Katherine graduated from Jewell High School in 1934, and earned an associate’s degree at Coffeyville Junior College in 1937. She completed a bachelor of science degree in education at Washburn University in 1972 at age 56 following persistent effort and years of correspondence, television and campus courses.
Katherine married Forrest W. Clark, D.V.M., on Aug. 20, 1939, in Jewell. They made their first home and veterinary practice site on the former Bruce Sanders farm south of Holton. Forrest was called up to Army service in the summer of 1942, and Katherine, with her first baby, followed Forrest to various stateside Army camps until he was assigned overseas in 1943.
Immediately after Forrest’s military discharge in 1946, Katherine and Forrest bought and lived on the former Le France Fruit Farm on the south edge of Holton for the next 50 years, May 1946 through May 1996.
Recently Holton established Countryside Park on the former Clark farm. The park includes land that was an alfalfa field and peony patch, and now it serves as public gardens, soccer fields, dog park, shelter house, a food distribution point for Harvesters and an outstanding fitness trail. Katherine and Forrest are remembered at a site along the trail with signage and a park bench for enjoying and surveying the beauty and serenity of the former farm site.
Katherine and Forrest Clark had two children, Elizabeth Ellen (Betsy), in 1941, and Hugh Eugene in 1947. Katherine was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, husband, sister and daughter.
She is survived by her son, Hugh Clark (Rose Heim Clark), Holton; grandchildren, Daniel Clark (Aspa Christodoulou Clark) Charleston, S.C., Todd Clark (Kelly Sasser Clark) Richmond, Va., and Amanda Clark Chang (Terence Chang) Washington, D.C.; a great-grandson, Coleman Clark, Charleston, S.C.; and a great-granddaughter, Natalie Clark, Richmond, Va. By way of Hugh’s marriage with Rose, Katherine enjoyed two grandchildren in Holton, Randee Balocca (Mark) and Scott Sigmund, plus four great-grandchildren, including Thomas Noble, Holton, Baylie Sigmund, Tanner Sigmund and Logan Sigmund, all of Topeka.
In addition to duties as housewife, mother and business manager for Forrest’s veterinary practice, Katherine was a public school teacher. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Katherine taught subjects for all eight grades in one-room rural Kansas schools beginning near Winfield for one year and for three years near Holton.
Later in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Katherine was beloved as a music teacher in Holton elementary schools which took her to Larkinburg, South Holton and the two elementary schools constructed for Holton in 1956.
She enjoyed speaking with numerous former students, now middle ages, who consistently referred to their enjoyment in preparing seasonal programs with Katherine. They also frequently referred to Katherine’s enthusiasm and inspiring efforts as teacher, accompanist and producer. Her work was always focused on the children’s growth in self- esteem, musical skills and having fun.
Katherine was active in three Holton churches, the Disciples of Christ, the Evangelical United Brethren and First United Methodist. She was a member of United Methodist Women, Business and Professional Women, Art and Home Club and other social groups.
She made time to play piano for various civic and church groups in many settings over 75 years in and around Jackson County. She easily engaged in conversations, and always enjoyed sharing time with friends and acquaintances. Katherine enjoyed her life.
Plans for visitation or memorial services may be announced later. A private inurnment will be held at Holton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Beck Bookman Library and/or First United Methodist Church in Holton, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. To leave a special message for the family, please visit www.mercerfuneralhomes.com