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132 Main Street
Winooski, VT 05404
Phone: 802-655-3480
About An Amazing Life|Help

Catherine W
Clark (Wood)

March 5, 1947 – November 25, 2018

Catherine Clark Catherine Clark
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Memorial Candles Lit for Catherine | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— LaVigne Funeral Home

Obituary for Catherine W Clark (Wood)

Catherine “Katie” Wood Clark (Brown), age 71, of Montpelier/Winooski, VT passed away on November 25, 2018 at 11:45pm at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, VT due to complications from brain surgery related to Stage IV lung cancer.

Katie lived a full and active life filled with family, friends, and much love and happiness. She was a selfless and caring soul, with boundless energy, a zest for life, and a pleasant disposition.

Katie was born on March 5, 1947 in Montpelier, VT to parents Catherine and William Wood. Katie had the pleasure of having a younger sister, Julie Rothery, who was her confidant and best friend. Katie has four beautiful and dear children: Amy, Scott, Kelley, and Andy (ASKA). She also has 10 loving and precious grandchildren: Brooke, Bethany, Bridget, Alex, Brady, David, Jeremy, Colby, Lincoln, and Finnegan.

Katie spent her childhood in Montpelier, VT where she attended elementary, middle school, and high school. She developed a love of music and singing at a very young age and she would often entertain the family with her musical talents. During her childhood, Katie spent a lot of time with her younger sister, Julie, three years her junior. They shared the same bedroom even though Katie was a notorious early riser and Julie was known as the night owl. As a young girl, Katie was very punctual and always made sure she and Julie were on time for school. Katie would hold Julie’s hand very firmly when they walked to school so Julie had no choice but to keep up with her older sister.

Katie valued Education and was a life-long learner
Education was extremely important to Katie and she had a true passion for learning. She enjoyed taking classes to expand her knowledge and derived satisfaction from every aspect of the learning process. Somehow, she managed to earn a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree while working full-time and raising four very active children. Katie received her Nursing diploma in 1968 from Jeanne Mance School of Nursing in Burlington, VT. She continued her education at the University of Vermont where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Education in 1984. Katie also received her Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Vermont in 1992. In addition to educational degrees, she also earned a Paralegal certificate from Woodbury College in 2006. She hoped to pursue a “second” career as a forensics nurse with this certification. Katie also took Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training starting in 1996, and renewed her EMT credentials every two years thereafter until 2013.

Katie had a deep passion for caring for others and this innate quality led her to a successful lifelong career as a nurse and a nursing instructor. Many will remember her smiling face, her nurturing heart, and her patience. Her students will remember her leadership and motivation, her depth of knowledge, and her sincere support if they were struggling.

Katie was an enthusiastic, dedicated and tireless worker. Katie served as a registered nurse for 50 years, helping countless people. She served in several different nursing and medical support roles including: school nurse, nurse to numerous high school sports teams, emergency room nurse, OB/GYN nurse, EMT, a manager of a convalescent/assisted living home, nurse administrator, and nursing professor at Vermont Technical College for 16 years. She saved people from all walks of life and in a variety of locations (in hospitals, on side of the road, at a high school hockey game).  She was always there to help anybody. And while she enjoyed the numerous places she worked, one she cherished the most was working as a volunteer EMT with Northfield Rescue. This role was particularly important to her because it allowed her to work as a first responder and have an immediate and tangible impact on those who required emergency medical assistance. She loved the camaraderie she felt with other members of Northfield Rescue as they worked together to make a difference in people’s lives every day.

Katie’s family was her pride and joy
Katie met her first husband, Malcolm Brown, when they were juniors in high school. Katie attended St. Michael’s High School in Montpelier but also took a few classes at Montpelier High School (MHS) where Malcolm went to school. The two met at the foot of the stairs outside Malcolm’s home classroom and began talking. They married during Malcolm’s junior year in college and moved to Ft. Benning, GA for a year upon graduation. While in Georgia, Katie worked as a nurse at a local hospital. In 1971, they moved to Worcester, VT and began raising their four children: Amy, Scott, Kelley, and Andy (ASKA). In the late 1970’s, they settled in Winooski, VT where they raised their kids and forged lifelong bonds with many in that close-knit community. Katie loved her kids dearly and dedicated hours upon hours attending their hockey and swim practices (at the crack of dawn), basketball, football, soccer, softball and baseball games, ski trips, dance performances, cheerleading events, band performances, and much more. She was always there, even if that meant driving 200 miles in a day.

Katie was well known by many of her children’s friends since she was the school nurse, bus driver, and health teacher. Many of ASKA’s friends remember her nurturing hand applying band aids and ice, as well as treating some with life threatening injuries. Many of Scott’s friends remember when “Mrs. Brown” had Scott model a jockstrap and cup for his sixth grade class so they would be fully informed about how to protect themselves! The only downfall of Katie being at school all the time was that her kids could never get away with anything or miss a day of school – they all had perfect attendance!

Katie was the type of mother who did whatever it took to make sure her kids had all the essentials for any activity in which they participated. For example, she would scour the annual Fall used hockey equipment sale at Leddy Arena in Burlington, VT for discounted safety gear for her sons. She was accommodating and her children were the major beneficiaries of her pleasant and willing disposition. Without hesitation, she would play catch in the sporting goods aisle of a local department store with her son so he could decide which baseball glove to buy. Little moments like this show how much she cared about the happiness of her children and the value she placed on encouraging and supporting their passions. It also gives you a glimpse of her joyful and playful attitude.

While Katie excelled at nursing, she had a love-hate relationship with cooking. On the one hand, she could cook an amazing baked Alaska (according to Julie). On the other hand, she inexplicably threw frozen hamburger meat at Julie when they were kids. Luckily, Julie ducked out of the way in time and the frozen meat smashed into the living room window, breaking the glass! As an adult, nobody would ever mistake Katie for being a good cook. But with her sense of humor, she left her children with fond memories of moonrocks (meatballs), hockey pucks (hamburger patties), and her best dish, ghoulash. Fortunately, given her lack of culinary skills, her children were never overweight!

She was an avid knitter and clothes maker. She made most of her kids’ clothes when they were young. And when the grandchildren came around, she continued to knit sweaters for them all, which they proudly wore each Spring on their trip with Grammie to the Bragg Sugar House for her annual birthday sugar on snow experience. She also was known to make quilts, small pillows, bedding, and blankets for her kids and grandkids; all are wonderful treasures.

Katie really loved Christmas and would shop throughout the year to find her favorite gifts for her kids, grandkids, family, and friends. On many years, her Christmas décor would stay up in her house until Spring or even Summer! As kids (and even as adults), ASKA could always count on their mom gifting them a huge bottle of Lubriderm lotion, socks, oranges, and a Winooski Babe Ruth booster calendar for Christmas. Even as her kids and grandkids grew older and more numerous, Katie was an extremely generous gift giver. She would rather spend her precious, hard-earned money on others rather than on herself.

Katie married Charles Clark, Jr. on December 27, 1996 after being set up on a blind date by mutual friends. They lived together for several years in their beautiful home in Williamstown, VT. Katie and Charlie loved vacationing in Pemaquid Point, ME every summer, hosting large family BBQ’s at their home, and doting on all their grandchildren.

Katie’s love of music and volunteering
Katie was faithful to her church. She was a parishioner at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Burlington, VT where she served as the pianist/organist for the choir and folk groups. She loved playing the organ/piano and singing. Her fellow parishioners will remember her generosity and willingness to help others out, and always having a smile on her face.

Katie also volunteered in many different capacities for Vermont Technical College (VTC) holding officer positions, leading committees, representing VTC at career nights, and more. She was also a proud Vermont Grange member for decades. The list of her volunteerism activities and interests is far too long to mention but the community was lucky to have such a dedicated and selfless servant.

Although her family was her number one love, music and dancing were a close second. She loved contra dancing and tap dancing, and wore out the dance floor recently with Kelley and her grandkids at a show featuring old rock songs. Katie would always do the twist if it was playing at a dance or wedding. Thanks to Katie, her children have been imparted with the words and appreciation of most of the “Golden Oldies” songs from the 50’s and 60’s. When her kids were growing up, the AM radio above the microwave played non-stop during weekends and the lyrics from these songs seeped into the brains of her children who enjoy this music genre to this day. Although she loved any song from her era, she had an insatiable love of all things Elvis. She was very excited when she went to Memphis a few years back with several of her kids and their families. They toured Graceland together and for Katie, this was a once in a lifetime pilgrimage. She had a smile on her face every second of the tour!

Katie’s spirit shines bright
Katie had a bright spirit which was evident by her constant smile and giddy laugh. So much fascinated her and pleased her. She was an extremely generous person with her time and her heart; she was stubbornly selfless. She treated everyone with kindness. She was humble. If she ever encountered a challenge, she always pushed through with grace, persistence, perseverance, and resilience to enjoy her life to its fullest. She was a great role model.

In early October 2018, Katie was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. This was a surprise since she had never smoked before. Katie knew the significance of such a diagnosis and knew that it was going to be an uphill battle against time. Circumstances dictated she undergo brain surgery in mid-November 2018. The surgery was a success and her recovery was miraculous. Her energy level and motivation for fighting cancer following the surgery was impressive. However, complications ensued which required emergency surgery. She fought a tough fight until she could fight no more. She passed peacefully on November 25, 2018 with her sister, four children, niece, and granddaughter by her side. She will be missed by her sister, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and many other family and friends. Special thanks to her doctors and the ICU nurses who did a tremendous job with all facets of her care during the last seven weeks of her life. During that time, her youngest daughter, Kelley, comforted Katie by remaining by her side step by step to every doctor’s appointment and errand. In addition, Katie’s daughter-in-law, Melissa, provided tremendous support by cooking for Katie so she could focus on her medical research.

We thank you Katie for entering our lives and giving us much joy and happiness. We are happy that you may rest peacefully now and spend happy times with other loved ones who have passed on. While we are sad that you are no longer with us, we look forward to the time when we may see you again. We celebrate you and your life. It was truly a life well-lived.

Katie will be buried next to her parents in Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, VT. In true form, Katie had the foresight and artistic skill to design her own headstone with the following words arranged around the border: Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, Artist, Nurse. She embodied those words and more, like “Aunt” to Andy, John, Kevin and Jenny, and “Mother-in-law” to Melissa, Cathy, Tim, and Eddie, and “Mentor” and “Friend” to many others. She leaves behind a legacy of which she can be proud.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in memory of Katie. She was a huge Boston Red Sox fan and was aware of the team’s partnership with the Jimmy Fund through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

Wednesday, 12-19-18 from 4pm – 7pm
LaVigne Funeral Home: 132 Main St. Winooski, VT

Funeral Services:
Thursday, 12-20-18 at 10am (Reception to follow services)
St. Joseph Cathedral
29 Allen St. Burlington, VT
A complete obituary will follow and can be viewed at:

First Visitation

When Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 4:00pm - 7:00pm
LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service
132 Main St
Winooski, VT 05404
Additional Information

Service Information

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 10:00am
St Joseph Co Cathedral
20 Allen Street
Burlington, VT