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Obituary Stories

Faith, trust in God helped Greensburg woman persevere

Stephen Huba
| Saturday, July 7, 2018, 12:03 a.m.
Shirley Esther (Close) Clark of Greensburg died Thursday, July 5, 2018. She was 82.
Shirley Esther (Close) Clark of Greensburg died Thursday, July 5, 2018. She was 82.

Whatever life threw at her, Shirley Clark was able to handle it with the help of her Christian faith.

Mrs. Clark lost her home and most of her possessions in March 2011, when a tornado touched down in Hempfield. The tornado tore the roof off the Fort Allen home where she had lived and raised her family since 1969.

One of the only things she salvaged was a grandfather clock that her late husband, Charles, had received as a retirement gift.

“After the tornado, mom insisted on continuing to be self-reliant and found an apartment in South Greensburg, where she lived alone until December,” said her son Richard. “Her life was not always easy, but she would have been the first to tell you that it was her faith and trust in God and her love of family, that helped her through all the heartache and pain.”

Shirley Esther (Close) Clark of Greensburg died Thursday, July 5, 2018. She was 82.

Born in Greensburg on Nov. 25, 1935, she was the daughter of George and Daisy (Hart) Close. She attended Harrold Senior High School and got married during her senior year.

She had met her future husband while visiting an aunt in Star Junction, Fayette County.

“My father grew up in Star Junction and was home from the Navy at the time. They fell in love and eloped in December of her senior year,” Richard Clark said.

Mrs. Clark was a homemaker, and the couple raised four children on Fosterville Road. In 1996, her husband was diagnosed with cancer. She cared for him at home until he died in 1997.

Mrs. Clark lost her daughter, Cindy, to a domestic violence incident but stayed involved in the judicial proceedings against the perpetrator, her son said.

Through it all, she was an active member of Church of Christ of Hempfield, where she enjoyed attending services, Bible studies and other church events.

Mrs. Clark also enjoyed playing cards and Rummikub with her girlfriends, taking car trips with her husband and family, eating corn on the cob, and riding the Thunderbolt and Jack Rabbit at Kennywood.

She is survived by three children, Charles E. Clark Jr., of Greensburg, Richard Clark and Jon Scalzitti, of Pittsburgh, and Brenda (Clark) Thoma and her husband, Bob, of Penn; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Friends may call from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Barnhart Funeral Home, 505 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Interment will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Greensburg.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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