Maureen “Denise” Clarke passed away on Dec. 3, 2022.
Denise was born to Robert and Roberta Bateman, Aug. 31, 1966, in Billings, Montana. Raised in the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana for most of her childhood, she had a love of the rivers, thickets, fields, and wildlife. She was fond of saying that it was more a case of her belonging to the land than the land belonging to her family.
After leaving high school she pursued any number of jobs, but being a mother was always her true vocation. Anyone who knew Denise understood her complete devotion to her five children, and she spent 17 years raising them as a single parent. During that time she built a nearly 20 year career in Facilities at Oregon State University, and also put herself through college, eventually earning two degrees.
She married David Clarke in 2011, referring to him as “everything she never knew she always wanted.”
She is preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her husband, David, children Sarah Rogers, Michael Rogers (Brandi), Matthew Thornberry, Rebecca Thornberry (Jeremy), and Adam Thornberry (Stephanie), as well as three grandchildren, Mara, Blair, and Thomas. She is also survived by six sisters, two brothers, and a wide circle of extended family and friends, all of whom she cherished.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Denise’s name be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. There will be a private Celebration of Life at a later date. Condolence letters can be sent to the following address: David Clarke, PO Box 411, Jefferson, OR 97354.