Sister Ilene Clark, SNJM

Sister M. Ann Sarah

February 19, 1925 – January 12, 2018

Sister Ilene Clark, SNJM departed this life January 12, 2018, in Spokane, Washington. Sister Ilene celebrated 92 years of life and 70 years of religious profession.


Obituary for Ilene  Clark, SNJM

Contact:  Sister Janyce Bouta, SNJM, (509) 270-7777

Ilene Bernadette Clark, (M. Ann Sarah), SNJM
February 19, 1925 – January 12, 2108

Ilene Bernadette Clark, Sister of the Holy Names, died in the early morning hours of January 12, 2018, at Hospice of Spokane House, Spokane, WA.  Born in Seattle, WA on February 19, 1925, Ilene was the third child of Capt. Hiram B. Clark and Mary A. Sullivan Clark.  Holy Names Academy, Seattle, was pivotal in Sister’s life being the institution from which she received her grade school through high school education and from which she retired as Director of Planned Giving in May 2017.

Sister Ilene entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names in July 1945 and pronounced her vows in August 1947.  She celebrated 70 years as a Sister of the Holy Names on October 6, 2017.   Her years of ministry were spent in institutions operated by the Sisters of the Holy Names, it is said that Sr. Ilene’s life was an embodiment of the spirit and charism of Blessed Marie-Rose whose concern for the education of young women and care of the poor was uppermost.

Ilene’s education included a Bachelor of Science in Education from Marylhurst College and a Masters of Art in French from Gonzaga University.  Her early years were spent as an elementary classroom teacher in Portland, Oswego (OR), Spokane, and Everett.  She served as Principal at the parish schools of St. Aloysius in Spokane and Holy Family in Auburn.   Sister Ilene had the opportunity to serve two different times as translator at the Sisters of the Holy Names’ Generalate located in Quebec, Canada.  The first time was in 1977 to 1980 at Pierrefonds, and again from 1985 to 1990 at Longueuil.  Her translation of the life of Blessed Marie Rose Durocher (Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names) was a joy and great accomplishment enriching her life-long love of Blessed Marie-Rose.   When Sister Ilene’s tenure ended in Canada she returned to Seattle and completed the circle of her life by serving at Holy Names Academy, where she spent the last 25 years of her life promoting the Academy as Director of Planned Giving.  Sister Ilene moved to Brookdale South Regal in early June 2017.

Sr. Ilene’s comings and goings listed above in her ministry assignments shed little light on the woman of steadfast faith who was honored for her years of service, nor do they tell of her as an accomplished cook and seamstress, or of the one who was diligent in researching the genealogy her family’s links to their Irish heritage.   She enjoyed biographies, the beach, and cross-country skiing.   Her belief in the value of the education received by the young women at Holy Names Academy and her diligence in following the lives of students and alum was evident in a directory she helped create for the 125th Anniversary of the founding the Academy and the video she created chronicling the arrival of the Sisters of the Holy Names to the NW and to the founding of Holy Names Academy, Seattle.

Sister Ilene is survived by her SNJM Sisters and Associates, her sister Virginia E. Olson (Dick) of Michigan, and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews from the Clark, Layman, and McKay families.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Raymond J. Clark, M.D. (Betty) and her sister Mary Elizabeth (“Lee”) Layman (James).

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Brookdale South Regal (3117 E. Chaser Lane) with Committal at Holy Cross Cemetery.  A Memorial Mass honoring Sister Ilene will be held in Seattle on March 9, 2018, at 4:30 PM, at St. Joseph Church, followed by a reception at Holy Names Academy.  Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 West Fort Wright Drive, Spokane, WA 99224, or to the Sister Ilene Clark Scholarship Fund at Holy Names Academy, Seattle.