Landscapes 14

Rosemary Lincoln Clark

August 2, 1938 ~ July 25, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old


ATHOL- Rosemary Lincoln Clark, of Athol, MA, passed away peacefully on July 25th, 2023. Rosemary Lincoln was born August 2nd, 1938 at the Lincoln family homestead, 8 Winchester Rd., Warwick, MA. Her parents, Charles and Esther Lincoln, ran a small family farm in Warwick and also worked in the logging business along with Charles’ brother Fred Lincoln, working teams of horses to draw logs out of the woods. The Lincolns had three children: Charles Jr., Esther “Sue,” and the youngest, Rosemary.

Soon after her birth, Rosemary became known as “the hurricane baby” because of a powerful hurricane, later known as the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, or the Long Island Express, depending on where you lived.  The storm ran just off the east coast until it struck Long Island Sound on September 21st. It continued north into Connecticut and Massachusetts, reaping serious damage and considerable loss of life.  The Lincolns were so concerned about the storm that they moved baby Rosemary’s crib between their bed and a bureau, and 6 year old  sister Sue stood behind the baby’s crib guarding her sister all through the storm.  The only casualty for the Lincolns was Rosemary’s mother, Esther, who broke her leg while navigating around downed trees after the storm subsided.

Some have said that the reason for the nickname “hurricane baby” had to do with the condition Rosemary tended to leave rooms she was playing with her toys in, but we have no confirmation of this.

Early life was spent in the busy and bustling streets of downtown Warwick, where a car passing through on Rt. 78 was likely to draw lots of attention.  Rosemary could often be found at the farm trying her milking technique beside sister Sue; or driving the farm tractor into a ditch with her dad hot in pursuit on foot trying to stop her; or ice skating on her Uncle Fred’s beautiful pond; or sliding on snow down the hill at the foot of Mount Grace.  Summertime always offered the chance to swim at Moore’s Pond or Clubhouse Pond.  The “other” local watering hole, also known as the Warwick Inn, was the site of many a teen dance, as well as the meeting place for the local youth group attended often by Rosemary and Sue.

Rosemary really enjoyed the shenanigans that always followed when she got together with her cousins, Reta and Kay Matthews.  When TV became a thing, the girls used to spend hours watching Liberace play his piano so effortlessly, waiting for him to give his signature “wink” at the end of each show.  That led to piano lessons (reportedly with a Mrs. Bass) and a lifelong love of piano playing and music in general.

When telephones arrived in the Warwick Metropolitan Area, what teenage girl could resist what likely were the first known prank telephone calls in the history of Warwick? Mischievous cousins were rumored to be involved as willing co-conspirators.  Many a confused telephone operator was asked to connect them with “PRS ring 7”. (See later employment history for ironic plot twist.) These crimes remain unsolved on the books of the Warwick Police Department…..

Rosemary attended Warwick Elementary School from 1944 to 1949.  She then attended Orange High School, graduating in 1956.

One adventure led to another, and Rosemary found her handsome prince and got married in 1956.  She became Rosemary Lincoln-Clark, and, as sometimes happens, children followed - 4 to be exact.  Steve (who was reported to have received his first valentine under the name of “Something Clark”, before his birth); Chuck (who started climbing trees at the age of 5 and never stopped); Chris (who started driving trucks at age 3 and never stopped) and Susan (affectionately known as “brown-eyed Susan”-not coincidentally, Rosemary’s favorite flower.  Susan is also rumored to be the inspiration for the Van Morrison song…..)

They were a rambunctious crew, and as Rosemary chased them from felony to felony, she thought “Hmmmmm, maybe it would be easier to go to work.” She found employment driving a van for the local school department, and during summers, she also transported kids to and from their swimming lessons at Laurel Lake. 

Because she had become a de facto Mom to a number of kids from the neighborhood, she became known as “Mumsie”—a trusted person a young wanderer could count on for solid advice and guidance.

In 1973, Rosemary took her test and received a motorcycle learner’s permit. Whether that was inspired by the 1969 movie “Easy Rider” or not, we cannot say. Either way, she hit the open road on two wheels for the first and last time that year. Appearantly, her white knuckle experience was more like the end, rather than the beginning of Easy Rider……..

In 1976, Rosemary began work as a secretary for a local emergency youth shelter.  Life in the 70’s took a toll on the marriage, and Rosemary was divorced by 1979 and moved to Greenfield, MA.  During this time period, she met James McKenna, of Springfield, MA.  They first became good friends, and ultimately close companions for many, many years.  They loved travelling the country together; New Mexico being one of their favorite destinations. From 1980 to 1996, she was employed full time as a telephone operator, first for New England Telephone, which later became Verizon. (Evidently, the prank calls didn’t come up in the background check….)  In 2000, she took a position as a counselor/night manager at Beacon House for Women in Greenfield, MA, and served there until her retirement in 2012.

Rosemary’s true calling in life seemed to be in helping others to find the joy in their lives.  She seemed most at peace guiding others in navigating life.  The job title which seems most fitting for her is “professor of life lessons.” One day, when “the Professor” was having lunch at a local restaurant with one of her adult children, an elderly woman sitting alone a few tables away came to their attention. The adult child commented as to how sad it was to see someone alone like that who looked like they could use some human companionship. The Professor cleared her throat and said, “Well----what are YOU going to do about that?”  If there was such a thing as a mic drop back then, she could have done so and just walked off without saying another word. And yes—said adult child did walk over, sit down and talk with that total stranger for a half hour or so. And that, my friends, was a true life lesson. Until the day she physically left this earth, this kind-hearted soul and gentle spirit was imparting her loving brand of wisdom to family, friends and acquaintances as needed.

Rosemary’s legacy is embodied in her large circle of family and friends. She didn’t “leave them behind” as newspapers often refer to living family members. She just loaned them to the world for all of us to enjoy for a while longer. When the time is right, she will be with them again.  Close family members include:

Siblings: Charles E. Lincoln, Jr of Royalston, MA (who passed away in 2012), Esther “Sue” Walloch of Winchester, NH; Children: Stephen Clark Jr. and his wife Juanita of Phippsburg, Maine, Charles E. Clark, formerly of Athol, MA (passed away in 2014), Christopher Clark and his wife Karen, of Orange, MA, Susan Stoddard Clark, of Templeton, MA;

Grandchildren: Mallori Clark of Bowdoinham, Maine,Alexander Clark of Scarborough, Maine, Michael Clark of Edgecomb, Maine, Brandie Clark of North Adams, MA, Nicole Reynolds of Winchester, NH, Moriah Glasgow of Seattle,  WA, David Clark of Long Beach, CA, Levi Clark of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Sam Clark of Petersham, MA, Khanze Clark of Greenfield, MA, Brian Clark of Leominster, MA, Kristy Clark Howe of Orange, MA,Brendon Clark of Orange, MA, Kyle Stoddard and his girlfriend, Kaylynne, and his son, Landen, of Whitman, MA.

Witty’s Funeral Home of Orange, MA is assisting the family. There is an online link on their website for friends and relatives to leave messages if they desire.

No calling hours are planned, but family and friends are invited to attend as they wish, either or both of the following events to honor Rosemary’s memory: 

Saturday, October 14th, 2023  1:00 pm—a graveside dedication & “Blessing of the Bench” ceremony at the Orange Road Cemetery, at the intersection of Holden Rd (top o’ the hill) in Warwick. Same day, 2:00 pm, a Celebration of Life at the Warwick Town Hall. A light lunch and refreshments will be served. Family and friends are invited to share any thoughts, memories, stories and/or humorous moments with those in attendance.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rosemary Lincoln Clark, please visit our floral store.

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Graveside Service
October 14, 2023

1:00 PM
Warwick Center Cemetery
Orange Road- Route 78
Warwick, Massachusetts 01378
Guaranteed delivery before the Graveside Service begins

Celebration of Life
October 14, 2023

2:00 PM
Warwick Town Hall
12 Athol Road
Warwick, MA 01364
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins


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