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Joyce Clarke, 103, Westport Resident, Public Relations Pioneer

Joyce Clarke
Joyce Clarke Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Joyce Clarke, 103, died at her home in Westport on Sunday, Aug. 30.

Clarke was born in Liverpool, England, on Feb. 11, 1912, to Katie and John Clarke, a merchant ship captain and member of the Royal Navy Reserve. She was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., attended New Utrecht High School and earned a degree from Brooklyn College in 1932.

She was co-founder of an all-women's public relations firm, Sally Dickson & Associates, which she established in 1943 with her longtime friend Sally Dickson. The New York City-based company had major accounts, including Good Housekeeping, Bristol-Myers, Ocean Spray, Borden, Avon and Procter & Gamble.

In 1945, the firm earned the Silver Anvil Award, recognizing excellence in public relations. She and Dickson shared their business knowledge in "A Woman's Guide to Financial Security," a book they co-authored in 1953.

She retired in 1980 after selling her company to Donald Creamer. She remained active with Literacy Volunteers, applying her passion for writing to the organization's monthly newsletter.

She was an avid boater and for many years a member of the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club. She enjoyed traveling the world and loved Broadway and the theater. A lifelong learner, she pursued her love of books through audiotapes and discs once her sight diminished in her mid-80s. She was determined to live on her own and did so until the age of 100, with the help of her housekeeper and friend Alice Hudson.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, at Saugatuck Congregational Church, 245 Post Road E., Westport. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA 01061-0515 (https:// ).

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