Phebe Clark of Battle Creek passed away on September 14, 2018.
She was born on March, 23, 1943 in the family farm home in Bedford/Battle Creek, MI to William and Anna Thomas. She attended Battle Creek public schools and graduated in 1961 from BC Central. She later graduated from Kellogg Community College with a degree in Physical Therapy and Western Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in psychology and a Master's degree in Social Work. As a result of these degrees she worked at the Calhoun Intermediate School District and Family and Children Services as a case worker supporting infants, children, and their families.
She married William Andrews on Valentine's Day 1965, and together they built a home on South Helmer Road in Battle Creek and raised a family. They had three children, Shawn Andrews ("Ms. Val" and family), Kim Andrews-Bingham ("Chip Bob"), and Eric Andrews ("Cinthy" and family), and in 1980 they opened Phebe's Tool Shed (Andrews Rental) after a short-lived stint as chicken farmers.
In 1997 she decided to set out on an adventure, and subsequently quit her job, joined AmeriCorps, and moved to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands to work at the Queen Louise Home for Abused and Neglected Children. On her first weekend on the island, she ventured into the Blue Moon Jazz Club where former New York Yankee Horace Clarke was playing the Vibraphone. After a long courtship, they married in 2009. Through the years, they split their time between Battle Creek and St. Croix until 2017 when her ALS had progressed to the point at which travel was no longer possible.
Throughout her life, she was an avid reader, water colorist, and lover of good food. She was also a world traveler who visited the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Her most recent adventure was an extended "trip of a lifetime" with her daughter to visit locations important to her family's Western European roots. More than anything, she loved her family, and took every opportunity to gather with them at holidays and summer picnics to share stories, laugh loudly, and savor the moment.
While fighting ALS, she was cared for by her children and many dear family members and friends (John, Mary, Brenda, Cheryl, Barb, Sue). At the end of her life, she was also cared for by the Calhoun County Medical Care Facility and Glenn Arbor Hospice. Being a lifelong Buddhist, the SokukoJi Buddhist Monastery in Battle Creek helped honor her end of life wishes in observing practices and rituals important to her.
After her cremation, a private family celebration of life was held, at which many of her favorite people in the world gathered to eat her favorite foods, tell her favorite stories, and laugh at the wonderful memories she left with them all.
One of the final thoughts Ms. Phebe left for us all was this - "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss