Brenda May Barnes-Clark died at home with her family by her side on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, after a long and hard-fought battle with metastatic breast cancer.
She was born Feb. 11, 1942, in Lynn, MA, and had just celebrated her 81st birthday with her loving family gathered around her.
Brenda was preceded in death by her two youngest children, Kathleen and Douglas; her parents, Howard and Betty Barnes of Topsfield, MA; and her sister, Beverly Peek of Nashua, NH.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Robert Clark of Lewisburg; sister, Ginger Hathaway of Atlanta, GA; brother, Albert Barnes of Farmington, NH; daughter, Cynthia Clark of Meadow Bridge; son, Gerald Clark of Venice, FL; grandson, Travis Lammon of Ronceverte; grandson, Gage Clark of Salem, IN; granddaughter, Jamiemay Clark of Lewisburg; and six great-grandchildren, Chloe Lammon, Trinnity Lammon, Bradan Martin, Grayson Lammon, Owen Lammon and Lilith Clark. She also leaves behind in-laws who called her sister, cousins, nieces and nephews and so many friends who loved her.
Brenda grew up on a small farm in Topsfield, MA, with a love of all animals especially horses. She got her own pony when she was just eight or nine and had many adventures on horseback with her brother and friends exploring the woods and back roads surrounding her home. She also grew up working in her family’s drive-up restaurant called The Busy Bees in Topsfield.
Her lifelong fascination with horses and her joy of drawing and writing stories inspired her to write children’s books for which she won local and national recognition including, The Incredible Tie-Dyed Talking Horse, The Abbyville Angels Adventures, Zapped, The Price of Twenty and My Worst Nightmare. Her one published book that she also illustrated, The Runaways, A Billy Rose Tackett Horse Adventure, is available on Amazon.com or at www.brendabarnesclark.com. She was a long-time member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the West Virginia Writers. She also belonged to The Writers League of The Villages and the Friends with Words Group in The Villages, FL.
Brenda graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield, MA in 1961 and from the Endicott College for Young Women in Beverly Farms, MA in 1963 with an associate degree in photography. She later studied anthropology at the University of Nebraska. In 1989 she graduated from the Oxford University of England auxiliary campus in Portland, OR as a Certified Teacher of English as a Second Language, and taught English in Ansan, South Korea for two years.
Brenda always had a smile on her face and love in her heart for all she met. She was kind and generous often giving of herself to others. She loved to travel and meet new people and experience different cultures. During her travels and life adventures as a career soldier’s wife she worked as a waitress, Homes Magazine regional advertising and distribution manager, newspaper advertising executive, car saleswoman, nanny, elder caregiver, boat club time share salesperson, debt counselor, assistant mortgage broker, life and health insurance salesperson, circus bill-poster, private cook and house manager for several large estates, motorhome factory-to-dealership delivery driver, textbook broker, tour guide, shuttle bus and limo driver, Red Cross volunteer, and a teacher’s assistant in a school for troubled children in Sarasota, FL.
In 2000 Brenda and her husband moved from Big Pine Key, FL to Alderson where Brenda rekindled her love of writing stories for children. In 2015 they moved to Lewisburg where Brenda began writing in earnest winning prizes at the annual West Virginia Writer’s Conference and a fourth place in a Writer’s Digest Magazine contest.
Giving person that she was, Brenda donated her body to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Human Gift Registry in Lewisburg.
Brenda’s family wants to thank the special nurses and care givers of Hospice Care of Lewisburg who provided Brenda and her family with great kind and compassionate care and guidance.
Brenda’s family will host a memorial service for her at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, 884 Jefferson Street North, Lewisburg, WV 24901 on Sunday, Mar. 19 at 2 p.m.
A Zoom connection will be set-up for distant family and friends who are unable to attend in person. Attendees will be encouraged to relate their personal remembrances of her. Lite refreshments will be served.
In lieu of flowers, Brenda left instructions to ask well-wishers to send a donation to the Mountaineer Food Bank serving Greenbrier and surrounding counties. Donations can be made online at www.MountaineerFoodBank.org, by postal mail to 484 Enterprise Drive, Gassaway WV 26624, or by telephone at 304-364-5518.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg (304-645-2060) is overseeing all arrangements. Condolences and remembrances may be posted on their website at: www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com