April 13 funeral scheduled for Dr. Gloria Clark

Dr. Gloria
Dr. Gloria Irene Clark

GAINESVILLE – A funeral service for Dr. Gloria Irene Williams Norman Clark is scheduled for Saturday, April 13 near Gainesville, Florida. She died on April 3 at her home.

She was the wife of Dr. Joe Clark, who was the subject of the movie, “Lean on Me’’ while a principal at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey.

A celebration of her life will be held on April 3 beginning with a wake at 10:30 a.m. and funeral services at noon at Williams Thomas Funeral Home, 823 NW 143rd Street, Newberry, Florida.

Born on Sept. 11, 1944, she attended elementary, junior high and high school in Dunn, North Carolina, where she lived with her mother, brothers, cousins, grandparents, great aunts and uncles.

She graduated high school at 16 and worked at an elementary school as a teacher’s aide until she was 17, when she then spent a year of study at North Carolina Central College. That year, she met her first husband, Rufus Norman, Jr. and married and moved with him to Brooklyn, New York. Soon after they welcomed their first daughter, Cheryl.

An early civil rights volunteer, she worked with children at Jamaica Daycare Center in Queens, New York where, together with her husband, they purchased her first house.

They had two more daughters, Victoria and Judith, before moving to New Jersey, where she would live most of her adult life.


She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Montclair State College and was a member of Phi Delta Kappa. She next earned a Master of Art Degree from Jersey City State College, where she was initiated into Delta Pi Epsilon. She taught in private schools and public schools, later serving as a high school administrator.

She continued her education, earning enough graduate credits from summer courses at University of California-Davis to put her at Ph.D. status.

During her tenure at Eastside High School, she met her second husband, Dr. Joe Clark. Both retired from their careers in education and relocated to Gainesville, where they proudly called home for the past 20 years.

She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Grand Female Protective Society Lodge # 1, and Greater Fort Clark Missionary Baptist Church.   

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Joe Clark; brothers, Willis McKoy and Johnnie (Mary) McKoy; daughters, Cheryl E. Norman, Victoria D. Norman Brown, and Judith I. Norman; stepchildren Joetta (Ronald) Clark Diggs, Joe (Jearl) Clark Jr., Hazel (Shane) Clark Mac; and grandchildren Umar Alim, Carla, Jasmine, and Jason Lee, Satchel and Cole Brown, Joe Clark, III, Jonetta Diggs, and Hazel Mac.


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