In Memoriam: Christine A. Clark

Chris on Her 50th Birthday

Chris on Her 50th Birthday

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind …

William Wordsworth

Christine Ann Clark, 54, died of cardiac arrest in the early-morning hours of September 22, 2013, in Manhattan. Born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in south Florida, Chris moved to Manhattan from Houston in the late 1980s to pursue her advertising career and be closer to her future husband, Gary Vineberg. A University of Florida Gator and Zeta Tau Alpha alumnus, she served as an account executive at several prestigious agencies, retiring from Ogilvy Health World in 2008. For more than three decades, Chris worked tirelessly on campaigns for a variety of clients, including airlines and pharmaceutical companies, becoming an expert in women’s healthcare along the way. Never one to be idle, she later joined Corcoran Group, launching a second career as a real-estate salesperson. Chris was passionate about her city and Greenwich Village home, working on her building’s roof garden. She could often be spotted in the Village shopping, picking up a Patsy’s pizza, or sipping a frozen margarita with her husband during Sunday brunch. She and Gary traveled the globe together, counting Cambodia, Ecuador and South Africa among their many destinations. She always looked forward to her annual “3B” reunion trip with college roommates Jan Healy and Joanne Gelfand, a tradition that lasted 30 years. A few weeks ago, the couple, joined by Chris’s mother, explored northwestern England and north Wales with local friends they had met in Fiji. Her creative side was generous, as she would shower family and friends with photo montages and videos on special occasions. She enjoyed socializing — “Build Me Up Buttercup” never failed to get her up to dance – as well as skiing and working out at the gym. Overflowing with love and good cheer, Chris was cherished by so many and will be sorely missed. She is survived by her husband Gary, her mother, Catherine Clark of Dallas, her aunt Janet Mather of Denver, and her aunt Joyce Clark of San Francisco, as well as other relatives and countless friends. A service will be held in her memory at the East End Temple, 245 East 17th Street, at noon on Tuesday, September 24. In lieu of flowers, please remember Chris with donations to research and treatment of heart disease or other worthy causes.

42 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Christine A. Clark

  1. Oh no! Chris has been such a light in my life, as in many others. Her passionate way of championing her friends … her savvy, smart, responsive professionalism. Chris mentored me through a bumpy professional time. And she will be sorely missed as a friend.

  2. Deeply saddened to hear of Christine’s passing. She was a bright light in everyone’s day. I went through Corcoran training with her, and saw her here and thereafter — which was always a treat.

    I wish you comfort in this very difficult time.

  3. Robin and myself would like to extend our deepest sympathies on your sudden loss. May you be spared further sorrow.

  4. To Christine Clark:

    “I hope you perform a melody of peace wherever you are
    I pray you will stay in a wonderful place until the day
    When all your wishes will be fulfilled,
    And, as though endowed with wings,
    You take flight toward the heavens.”

    Ikeda

  5. Jeff and I would like to extend our deepest condolences to you and your families on your sudden loss.

    May you be spared any further pain and sorrow and have fond memories to carry you through these difficult times.

  6. Chris: Your kindness and strength will always be remembered. Immediately after 9/11 you held me tight at the Washington Square Park memorial. As I crumbled in fear you said everything will be alright and we sang “We Shall Overcome” with tear-steaked faces. Now, I wish you peace and aspire to reach in some small way the strength and grace that you carried throughout your life. You will be missed.

  7. Chris, I remember dragging our moms by the hand to meet, little kiddies’ clothes, Disneyland and the Outer Banks. Though we didn’t keep close, I thought of you often. My thoughts and prayers to your family.

  8. When Chris visited family she brought her infectious joy with her. We all enjoyed her so much. And, may her soul, and all the souls, of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  9. Chris, You will forever be alive in my memories. I still remember watching you, your best friend and the moms pulling up to the dorms for your first days at the University of Florida — not knowing that so many great memories would lie ahead. Thanks for being my buddy throughout those college days.

  10. I am horrified by this tragic loss of a woman who only brought laughter and fun to anyone lucky enough to know her. The first time I met Chris we were in the ladies’ room at Jilly’s and she struck up a conversation with me while in the stalls. She had no idea who I was but managed to tap into my personality and sense of humour and make me laugh.

    Visiting New York was always fun because Chris was there. Whether we were in the apartment or on the roof having a drink or at margarita brunch it was always a great time. Her big smile and infectious laugh made everything seem possible and fun. Waiting for her at “Bat Boy” as she rushed in from a late-night stop at Kinko’s, carrying her travel mug filled with ice and Diet Coke, she sat down and loved that show, even though it was barely watchable. I think that she was just happy to be somewhere aside from the office.

    She loved those around her fiercely and made us see the soft side of Gary. She always looked at my cousin with such great love, and for that and everything else she has done for my family, she will be sorely missed.

    I miss you already, Chris.

  11. Chris, I never had the privilege of meeting you, but I have known you for years through the loving words of your mom. She always spoke with pride and love of your inner and outer beauty, and charm. Your mom adored the essence of who you were and of your many accomplishments. She loved the little girl you once were and the wonderful woman you became. Of your husband, she also spoke kindly. I imagine he will sorely miss having you in his life.

    Today, I wish for you the undying Love and everlasting peace only our maker can give us. I also pray that you are now basking in God’s love. Just as importantly, I pray that our maker blesses your mom and showers her with inner peace. Please, send her your love and blessings to your mom now that you are in the presence of our omniscient father.

    From a friend and admirer of your wonderful mom.

  12. Thank you, Gary, for the beautiful, loving memorial! You are amazing to have composed this at such a difficult time! Peace and Love, Chris!

    • Most of the credit for this obituary goes to Joanne Gelfand and Jan Healy. I made some significant edits, with input from other people, and chose the Wordsworth poem excerpt. I hope it does Chris justice.

  13. Gary, I cannot begin to express my sincere sympathy for your loss. I hope that you will find strength and comfort from all of the wonderful memories you hold in your heart and mind of your life with Chris. I keep thinking of her, and of all the great times we had while growing up in south Florida, and then us getting together in NYC. My heart goes out to you, your family, and all of Chris’s close friends for your loss — our loss — of a dear, sweet lady.

  14. Gary, I was so deeply saddened to hear of Chris’s passing. You were both always there to share in our joy at all of Jesse’s celebrations, from his Bar Mitzvah to his graduation ceremonies, and your presence
    meant more to me than you will ever know. Chris was delightful and beautiful and warm, and I feel priviledged to have known her. I will truly miss her. My thoughts are with you. With much love, Nicole.

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss. I found a lot of comfort after my father passed away in these words, and I hope that they offer you some comfort too:

    We Remember Them
    At the rising of the sun and at its going down
    We remember them.
    At the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter
    We remember them.
    At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
    We remember them.
    At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
    We remember them.
    At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
    We remember them.
    At the beginning of the year and when it ends
    We remember them.
    As long as we live, they too will live;
    for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
    When we are weary and in need of strength
    We remember them.
    When we are lost and sick at heart
    We remember them.
    When we have joy we crave to share
    We remember them.
    When we have decisions that are difficult to make
    We remember them.
    When we have achievements that are based on theirs
    We remember them.
    As long as we live, they too will live;
    for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.

    Hebrew Union Prayer Book

  16. Hello, Gary:

    I just can’t believe it. I send my heartfelt condolences.

    We have not met, but I knew Chris in college — we were both Zetas. She was an amazing, kind, witty and generous-spirited woman.

    I’m learning that we must never let too much time pass, that we must try to stay connected with the special ones, like Chris, whose paths cross our own. This weekend I will be going up into the attic and digging through my photo albums to find photos of us at UF — so many fond memories! — and I’ll copy them to Jan.

    As everyone has already said, Chris was greatly loved — she lives on in so many hearts. I wish you much peace and comfort.

  17. Chris, I will always think of you with a smile. You always found the best in people and saw things in them that they didn’t even see in themselves. You were my friend for 15 years and I will never forget you.

  18. “What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  19. Gary, I want you to know how I am thinking of you and praying for your comfort through this difficult time. I knew Chris through my sister Jan and I know how much she meant to Jan, and Chris still had time to chat with me and always made me laugh. After talking with her I always felt better, not worse. She had that magic of making others feel good. My heart is heavy right now and I am thinking of you and wishing you comfort through this tragedy, knowing how many care about you and loved Chris.

  20. Chris was a co-worker who always stayed late at work. She was always driven by passion and determination in her work.
    I’m blessed to not only have worked with her but also to have helped her with her personal computer issues at her home.
    To Gary, I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  21. Although I had not seen Chris in decades, she never shall be forgotten, as she was truly a very special and caring person.

    I met Chris in high school. She was my best friend. She (along with Jim and Cathy) always made me feel like part of their family. We went our separate ways after college. But our friendship, despite distances, never lessened in my mind, as I felt I could always count on her being there.

    For Cathy and Gary, please accept my most sincere condolences, as we together hold dearly to our fond memories of our times with Chris.

    May God bless Chris.

  22. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Chris — her generosity of spirit and easy laughter made our days at Ogilvy seem so much shorter. My sympathies go out to Gary, her mom, and all the family and friends who will miss her special light.

  23. That miraculous never-ending bottle of Diet Coke. (I’ve always wondered, why no cans?) That raspy laugh and sunny smile. That insuppressible cheer even when the clients called in late friday night with overnight changes. Those summer rooftop parties that she and Gary so kindly hosted that brought together people who lost touch with one another. Oh, Chris, you will be sorely missed.

  24. It has taken me 24 hours to digest this shocking news. A light has gone out. Chris was kind, warm, caring and funny. She was what we call here a radiator. How often I have thought about our chance meeting on the train from London and how, by the time we arrived in Edinburgh, we had struck up a friendship. We had a few wonderful days on my first ever trip to NYC when you and Chris made us so welcome. How about that crazy trip to Iceland? How I wish I had been able to see Chris in the last few years! (Just a few fleeting hours with Mike who came back with more tales of your friendship.) I am simply in disbelief that such a wonderful person can be taken so suddenly. Gary, we cannot begin to think how you must feel at this shocking and premature passing … just insane. I know you shared so many happy times. I hope those will help. In the meantime, Mike and I send you all our love and will always smile when we think of Chris. XXXXX

  25. Chris, you left us way too early. Wherever you are, I’m certain there’s a beautiful garden, loads of margaritas, and an endless supply of Diet Coke for your special cup. I already miss our mutual mentoring. R.I.P.

  26. Gary, your tribute to Chris is as beautiful as her picture. What a wonderful woman. The passage of time has not made this any easier to write as it is difficult to think of Chris and feel sadness at the same time, as she always evoked just joy. She was such a vibrant force, always having and planning fun. I can picture her bundled in vest and coats heading out to ski in Colorado, determined to keep up with you and Dick on the slopes. We will miss her cheerful voice and enthusiasm.

  27. The Gator Nation lost one of the “good ones.” She was one in a million. This will be the only time in over 30 years when thinking of her I didn’t smile.

  28. Gary, so sorry for your loss. Chris was a beautiful person. There are many of us from her high school (Coral Gables High) and those of us who remember her from the University of Florida days that will always cherish the memories. She always had a smile on her face and warmth in her heart. She will be missed very much by everyone.

  29. I knew Chris through our days at Ponce Jr High and Coral Gables High School. She always had a smile and hello to share. I saw her at our last reunion and she shared the same beautiful smile. My sympathies to Gary, her mother and many loved ones.

  30. This is a beautiful remembrance for a great friend who was taken from us way too soon. I miss you and your late-night (from my perspective) visits!

  31. Gary, I only just learned of your loss in an email exchange with Sandie Markman, who’s in Australia. I am so sorry. Christine and you stood out at the Outremont High School reunion as such a beautiful couple. Bon courage, Gary.

  32. Gary, I am so glad we got a chance to meet Chris and spend some time with you in New York. We had so much fun on the rooftop eating pizza. It is one of my favorite memories of New York. She certainly lit up the place. Hugs and courage from Maggie and Alex.

  33. Hi, Gary. I was very saddened to hear about the sudden passing of your wife, Christine. It was wonderful meeting her and seeing you again a few years ago at our high school reunion. I just learned of her passing tonight. I am very sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you tonight. I hope you can aurrond yourself with your friends and family during this difficult time.

  34. I’m sorry for your loss. I haven’t known anything about your life since we were children together in Outremont, but I understand loss and grief. May you be spared further sorrow.

  35. Hi, Gary. I just wanted to express my sincerest condolences. I loved my old friend, roommate and co-worker. I have many dear, sweet and funny memories of Chris. Sharing in your sadness this holiday. Sending a hug, Valerie.

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