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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Barbara Lee “Buzzy” Clark

Barbara Lee “Buzzy” Clark

Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Barbara Lee “Buzzy” Clark, passed away at her home in Mashomack on Sunday, January 20, 2019 after a short illness.

Born on September 3, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York to John Beith Smith, Jr. and Elna Margretha Kolstad, Buzzy attended Richmond Hills High School. Upon graduation she attended Juilliard and The New School for Social Research.

She then went to work for Pan American at the Chrysler Building in Manhattan.
She found her way to eastern Long Island by vacationing with friends from Brooklyn who owned a house in Sag Harbor.

One summer, she and her friends decided to vacation at The Holiday Inn (now Camp Quinipet) on Shelter Island. It was during this trip that she met her future husband, Robert Arthur “Bucky” Clark.

They were married in 1947 and spent the beginning of their married life in Locust Valley while Buck worked on the Whitney family’s yacht. They then returned to Shelter Island to work for Jim Roe at the request of Buck’s father, Albertus Clark, Sr. who worked for Mr. Roe.

They had fond memories of fireworks displays and July 4th celebrations held in Westmoreland during those years. Albertus Clark, Sr. and his wife, Isabelle, were also the caretakers of Mashomack, which was then a private estate where Buzzy and Bucky came to live.

The couple eventually acquired a piece of land near Taylor’s Island in Mashomack and built their own home where they raised their seven children. Intermittently, over the years, they moved back to the Manor House in Mashomack to oversee the care of the property when it was a private estate and during the time when it operated as a private hunting club.

Buck eventually went to work for Alfred Tuthill at his shipyard on Menantic Creek, and once the children were in school, Buzzy returned to work and was employed for many years by Rowe Industries in Sag Harbor. She later became a licensed insurance broker and worked with Amaden Gay Insurance in East Hampton, maintaining her license until the time of her passing.

Over her lifetime she has been a member of The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 281; The Shelter Island Coecles Harbor Association; The Shelter Island Association; a founding member of The Taylor’s Island Management Committee for The Town of Shelter Island; a founding member of the Shelter Island branch of The League of Women Voters; The Shelter Island Presbyterian Church Choir; and other choral societies.

In her many travels she visited Thailand, Argentina, Cuba, The Republic of Georgia, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland and Barbados, as well as many places in North America. She is survived by her seven children: Virginia Ann Garbowski (John); Keith Robert Clark (Louise); Patricia Ann Hurley (the late Tom Hurley); Heather Lee Reylek (Robert); Wendy Sanwald (Norman); John Fulton Clark, Andrew Albertus Clark; and grandchildren Joshua Samet, Joseph Samet, Kate Topliff, Jessica Hildreth, Laurel Hildreth, Tom Hurley, Rachel Brigham, Timothy Reylek, Zachary Reylek, Ray Sanwald, Kevin Sanwald, Tara Clark, Sydney Clark and Mia Clark, as well as 24 great-grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her parents, her brother John B. Smith, and her husband, Robert “Bucky.”

Since Buzzy supported many progressive causes including social justice, women’s rights, the arts and music, the family asks that donations be made in support of an organization of your choice in her memory.

Her memorial service was held at the Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 26. Barbara requested that her cremated remains be mingled with those of her late husband, Bucky, and her father.

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