Helen Kennedy "Pat" Clarke

March 23, 1930June 10, 2021

Helen Kennedy “Pat” Clarke March 23, 1930 - June 10, 2021

Clarke, Helen Kennedy “Pat,” age 91, died at her home in Saint Simons Island, Georgia on June 10, 2021. Pat was born March 23, 1930, in New York, the oldest child of Laurence Sarsfield Kennedy and Helen Hallet Kennedy. Growing up in Bedford, New York, she attended Rippowam Cisqua School, Newton Academy of the Sacred Heart near Boston, and Marymount College. In 1950, Pat married Henry Cartan Clarke of nearby Katonah, New York, and together they raised seven children, starting out in Buffalo and spending nearly three decades in Wayzata, Minnesota before relocating to Atlanta in 1983. Pat and Cartan retired to Sea Island, Georgia in 1992, where Pat’s family had vacationed since 1938.

On top of being a devoted mother to her large family, Pat was a selfless volunteer both in her beloved Catholic church and in all her communities, somehow finding time, however, for a remarkably accomplished life in the world of amateur golf. Building on a love of the game discovered while a member and eventual club champion at Woodhill Country Club in Wayzata, Pat served in many capacities for the Women’s Western Golf Association, the United States Golf Association Women’s Committee, the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Committee, and was a director emeritus of the Georgia State Golf Association. Growing into a true stateswoman for the game, she earned credentials as a rules official and could eventually be spotted on national television officiating women’s golf’s premier tournament, the U.S. Women’s Open. She twice joined the Georgia Team as non-playing captain in the USGA State Team Championship, with Georgia winning its first national title in 2005. She also served as general co-chair of the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur in 2006 in Sea Island. Along the way, she would also win a club championship at Ansley in Atlanta, enjoy countless rounds as a member of Sea Island Golf Club and Ocean Forest Golf Club, and literally travel the world attending international events such as Curtis Cup Matches and the Women’s World Amateur Team Championships.

While living in Wayzata, Pat co-founded Highcroft Country Day School in 1958, later part of The Blake Schools. She devoted countless hours to the residents of Hammer Residences in Wayzata, including working with the Wayzata Garden Club to build a greenhouse for the residents’ learning and enjoyment in 1964. In the late 70’s, she and Cartan co-founded The Woodlands, a group care home in Orono, Minnesota, for adults with developmental differences. In the mid-80’s, she served on the Atlanta Archbishop’s Task Force on AIDS. A talented gardener, in addition to the Wayzata Garden Club, she was also a member of the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club in Minnesota, the Peachtree Garden Club in Atlanta, and the Sea Island Gardening Group.

Having attended Saint William Catholic Church on Saint Simons since childhood, she and Cartan became active parishioners upon retiring to the Golden Isles. In more recent years, Pat became especially devoted to her ministry with the elderly.

A loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and lifelong Catholic, Pat’s deep contemplative faith was reflected by her boundless generosity and commitment to family, friends, and even strangers in need. With a lifetime spent outdoors, Pat was as at home fishing from a dock with grandchildren or with her hands covered in the black dirt of Minnesota as she was on the greens of a storied ocean links course.

Pat was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Cartan Clarke; by her son, Laurence “Larry” Clarke; and by her brother and sister, Laurence Sarsfield Kennedy Jr. and Katherine Kennedy “Kitty” Gutelius. She is survived by her children: Henry Clarke (Kathy) of Laytonsville, MD; Cynthia Clarke, Larry’s widow, of LaPlace, LA; Donald Clarke (Mary Jo) of Lake Oswego, OR; David Clarke (Julie) of Bronxville, NY; Michael Clarke of Chattanooga, TN; Helen Laseter (Scott) of Atlanta, GA; and Patrick Clarke (Katie) of Wilmette, IL. She is further survived by 15 grandchildren: Brian Clarke (Katie); Kelly Clarke; Michael Clarke (Rachel); Catherine Sanchez (Rick); Matthew Clarke; Kevin Clarke (Erin); Annapatrice Johnson (Corbin); David Clarke (Johanna); Anita Galie (Peter); Patrick Clarke (Jessica); Henry Laseter; Charlotte Laseter; Charles Clarke; W. Cartan Clarke; and Tyler Clarke; and by 13 great-grandchildren (and counting) and many nieces and nephews. The family expresses deep gratitude to caregiving companions Brenda Mitchell and Frank Nagorski, to the Tuesday Night Supper Club and also to caregivers Becky Pifer and Priscilla Austell. A funeral Mass will be held on June 23, 2021 at 10:30 at Saint William Catholic Church, 2300 Frederica Road, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. Memorials may be made to Orange Grove Center, 615 Derby Street, Chattanooga, TN 37404 or to Saint William Catholic Church, 2300 Frederica Road, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. Funeral live stream link is at or go to StWilliamonSSIGA you tube channel.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Edo Miller of Brunswick, GA.


  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021


Helen Kennedy "Pat" Clarke

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Joyce Schlossberg

June 18, 2021

Pat had the warmest personality. I met her about 10 years ago when we both lived at Marsh's Edge. I was pleased to assist with the Catholic mass on Saturday evenings. Pat was very involved in keeping the mass in the Chapel at Marsh's Edge. Pat and I also enjoyed the Tuesday Morning Women's Discussion group at St. Williams and often went to lunch afterwards.
She was a lovely, kind and gentle lady who will be missed by all who came to know her. God bless her family and bring them the Lord's Peace and Comfort. She is now in her heavenly home.