Obituary For Joan Ripple Clark

October 10, 1931 - June 1, 2021

Joan Ripple Clark of Pittsboro, North Carolina, died June 1, 2021 at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, after a brief illness.

A graveside service will follow at 3:00 at Overlook Cemetery in Eden.  The family will receive visitors on Saturday, June 5 at 2:00 at Fair Funeral Home, 432 Boone Road, Eden, North Carolina.

She was born in Martinsville, Virginia on October 10, 1931 to the late John Hollis Ripple and the late Ann Reynolds Ripple.  After graduation from Fieldale High School, Fieldale, Virginia, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Hollins College (now Hollins University).  She later earned her Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology degree from Duke University, and began work as a medical technologist in Washington, DC and Martinsville, Virginia.

In 1959, she married the late Edwin Ayers Clark. As Ed pursued a career in textiles, she and Ed lived in numerous towns, including Eden, North Carolina; Worthville, North Carolina; Rome, Georgia; Denton, North Carolina; and Stonewall, Mississippi, before settling in Danville, Virginia, in 1972.

In Danville, Joan resumed work as a medical technologist for the blood bank at Danville Memorial Hospital, and became active in church, civic and social activities. She was a long-time member of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, and played a significant role in the effort to create needlepoint church kneelers stitched by members of the congregation. Among other organizations in which she was an active member are the Dorothea Henry chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and The Wednesday Club.

In addition to being an accomplished bridge player, Joan’s great passion was needlework. She was active in Embroiderer’s Guilds in Danville, Virginia, and Sanford, North Carolina, and enjoyed attending national conferences to hone her skills. Her needlework won prizes at the North Carolina State Fair, and was recognized nationally when an ornament she stitched was included on the Christmas tree at the White House in 1996.

Her greatest passion, though, was family. She welcomed any occasion to re-connect with relatives, and loved to share news and stories to help keep family ties strong.

She is survived by her two sons, John Clark and wife Lisa of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Steven Clark and wife Julie of Salem, Virginia; grandchildren Jeremy Jones and wife Kelly of Chattanooga, and Ashley Baker and husband Adam of Chattanooga, and Emma McNeil and husband Lee of Chattanooga; and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Joan was also predeceased by her daughter-in-law, Wanda Clark, and her granddaughter, Jennifer Clark.

Joan was especially proud of the success that her father attained in overcoming challenging circumstances. Among the achievements whose memory she sought to preserve was that of her father being the first football player at North Carolina State University to be named to an All-American team. Accordingly, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the John H. & Ann R. Ripple Scholarship Fund, North Carolina State University Student Aid Association, Inc., PO Box 37100, Raleigh, N.C. 27627-7100 or a charity of one’s choice.

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