Anna E. Clark (nee Wilson)

Published January 1, 2004
Anna Wilson and Howard Clark, who served as primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1959 to 1969, were married in 1935.
Anna E. Clark (nee Wilson), widow of the late Archbishop Howard H. Clark, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1959 to 1969, died Nov. 2 in Toronto at the age of 92.
Mrs. Clark grew up in Ottawa, a member of one of the founding families of the national capital, and went to finishing school, according to her daughter, Rev. Elizabeth Morley.

The couple met in 1933, when Archbishop Clark was a priest at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. They were married in 1935, moving to Edmonton in 1954 when Mr. Clark was elected bishop of the diocese.

“She was a homemaker and she was hugely creative, extremely talented with any kind of needlework. She hooked a large wall hanging of the crest of Trinity College, which hung there for many years,” Ms. Morley said in an interview. Although Mrs. Clark missed her family in Ottawa, she and then-bishop Clark “loved Edmonton,” said Ms. Morley.

After his election as primate, Archbishop Clark recalled: “I have regrets about my marriage in that I let the church take me away from my home and my children when they needed me. I would say that the assistance and support and faithfulness of my wife has made my work possible. I think I have a remarkable wife. She’s not a churchy girl in the sense that she doesn’t join the ACW and all the other organizations and become president of them … she’s too involved already … but her sense of values and her personal support to me have been something without price.” Mrs. Clark enjoyed the travel that went with the job of primate and loved entertaining, usually related to church functions, said Ms. Morley.

After Archbishop Clark retired, the couple moved to Toronto, near two of their married daughters. The Clarks also enjoyed a cottage that had been in Mrs. Clark’s family for years in the Gatineau hills north of Ottawa, said Ms. Morley. They were regular parishioners at Christ Church Deer Park, Toronto, where Archbishop Clark conducted occasional services. The former primate died in 1983.

Mrs. Clark was the mother of Howard, Mary van Straubenzee, Esther Harshaw, Ms. Morley and the late Patricia. She had 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Burial took place at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa on Nov. 10. A memorial service was held at Christ Church Deer Park on Dec. 2.



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