Photography

Shirley Maslar Clark

Obituary

Shirley (Lolly) Clark was born in Binghamton, NY and spent her adult life in Cleveland. She was a deeply creative, single professional woman who remained childless at a time when a solo working life was still unusual for women. She lived in close relationship with two nieces born in Cleveland, whom she accompanied throughout their childhood and mentored as adults: the late Melissa K. Drane (formerly of St. Louis), and Melanie Drane of Los Angeles. Shirley was also the beloved sister of Gerald Maslar (Midge), and siblings who predeceased her, John Maslar, Marie Maslar Drane (Harold), George Maslar (Dawn), and William Maslar (Myra). Numerous nieces and nephews from the Maslar Family will miss her (Mark, Carl, Terry, Matthew, Lisa, Valerie, and Stephen).

In the course of a long, colorful career, Shirley Clark served in public relations for Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Opera; co-founded a successful advertising agency; and worked in public radio for many years. She was married once, to her ex-husband, the late Samuel Clark III, and together, they were pioneers in the meticulous renovation of multiple historical homes in the now thriving Ohio City area of Cleveland. In the 1980s, she favored animal-print leggings and a Billy Idol-style haircut—and to the end, she was fearlessly inventive and mischievous in styling herself. It was part of the art and self-expression that made her life spacious, bohemian, and full of joy.

In her 60s, she studied ceramics with dedication to craft. By her 80s, Shirley was an accomplished sculptor in clay, with numerous commissions of her work. She found her primary community of friends at her clay studio in a Cleveland warehouse, Beachwood Ceramics Guild. Shirley missed this environment immensely during the pandemic. Her death was quick and unexpected on May 5, 2022; she lived on her own to the end, always in the companionship of her cherished dogs. Her absence leaves the world a paler place. The Family request donations be made to the Cleveland Animal Protective Leaque.

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