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Emily Russell Clark

June 6, 1926 January 1, 2018
Emily Russell Clark
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Obituary for Emily Russell Clark
Madison - Emily Russell Clark died January 1, 2018, at age 91 in Madison. Her life will be celebrated with a funeral and Eucharist at St. James Episcopal Church on January 8, 2018, at noon. Visitation will precede the service in the parish hall beginning at 10:30 a.m.Sebrell Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Emily was born in Lumberton, Mississippi, on June 6, 1926, but raised in Jackson. Her mother and father, Isabel Hansbrough Russell and Charles H. Russell,preceded her in death. She is also preceded in death by her brothers, Charles H. Russell and Harrison H. Russell, and sister, Isabel McCarty, as well as a grandson, Harrison H. Clark.While in high school at Jackson Central, Emily met Charles Clark of Cleveland, Mississippi, at a dance at the old Robert E. Lee Hotel. They decided to walk home from the dance to her parents' home in Woodland Hills, but eventually needed to get a ride. Her parents were not particularly happy with that decision, but must have quickly realized that she had found the love of her life. After graduating from Central, Emily attended Converse College in South Carolina, but transferred to Ole Miss to be near Charles. While at Ole Miss, she was a member of Delta DeltaDelta sorority and was voted an Ole Miss beauty.

She and Charles were eventually married in 1947, while Charles was in law school at Ole Miss. They were married for 63 years until Charles died in 2011. The term "married" is inadequate to describe their relationship. If they disagreed about anything, whether it be child raising, finances, or even what to eat, no one would have ever known. It seemed all either of them wanted in life was to be with each other.Among her many accomplishments, she was the first woman elected to the vestry at St. James. She was also elected president of the Episcopal Church Women for the Diocese of Mississippi. When Charles was elevated to Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Emily became the de facto First Lady of the Court. This was so much the case that after Charles retired from the bench in 1992, his former colleagues and law clerks universally inquired about her rather than him.Her physical beauty, first identified at Ole Miss, was even more evident later in life. Emily was the definition of grace - dignified and elegant, yet unpretentious and humble -- not surprisingly, the same qualities attributed to Charles. Emily leaves six children - Charles (Mimi) of Cleveland; Emily Smith (Tim) of Mobile, Alabama; John (Geraldine) of Penland, North Carolina; Jim (Meg) of Jackson; Catherine of Hendersonville, North Carolina; and Pete of Clinton. She is alsosurvived by thirteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Harrison Clark Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, 525 East Capitol Street, Suite 5B, Jackson, Mississippi 39201.
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