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Carol Colby Clarke

Posted February 04, 2014 in Obituaries, West Des Moines

September 20, 1932 – February 3, 2014

Carol Clarke

Carol Clarke

Carol Colby Clarke, 81, died Monday, February 3, 2014 at Arbor Springs in West Des Moines. Funeral services will be 10:30 am, Saturday, February 8, 2014 at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Burial will follow at Resthaven Cemetery.

Carol was born September 20, 1932 in Des Moines, the youngest child of Charles Iowa and Ruth (Reite) Colby. She attended Des Moines Schools and graduated Roosevelt High School. Carol attended Colorado Women’s College (now Denver University) to study Interior Design. It was there that she met her husband, Lloyd E. Clarke, who was in the U.S. Air Force. The couple married August 30, 1952 at Lowry Air Force Base by a military chaplain. This began a marriage that has lasted 61 ½ years. Upon Lloyd’s discharge from the Air Force the couple moved to Carol’s home town, joined Carol’s church, and went into the same business as Carol’s father- other than that, she had little influence on Lloyd’s life.

In 1954 Carol and her husband formed a number of businesses known as Clarke Companies. Over the years they grew into a multi-state corporation specializing in real estate developing, property management and mortgage banking. Carol was also a Lifetime Trustee of the Colby Trust’s, assisting to manage and grow her family’s affairs with keen business savvy for many years.

In 1957 John James Clarke, the only child of Carol and Lloyd, was born in Des Moines. He married his wife Jody in 1981, and they have blessed Carol and Lloyd with four grandchildren. After John was born the family lived in several communities including Memphis, TN, Boca Raton, Bonita Springs, and Fort Lauderdale, FL. Carol was very popular and made friends everywhere she went. She made a point of being involved in the churches she belonged to wherever she lived.

Carol and Lloyd enjoyed extensive traveling and visited many places around the world. When home she loved her pets and raised generations of German Short Haired Pointers. She was an accomplished artist, liked yachting and sailing, flying, Quarter Horses, and organizing her Roosevelt High School Reunions. But her favorite thing to do was spend time with her son, daughter-in-law and her four loving grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Lloyd E. Clarke of West Des Moines; son, John J. (Jody) Clarke of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; grandchildren: Carolyn A. (Danek) Bondar of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Andrew C. Clarke of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Gregory J. Clarke of West Des Moines, Douglas J. Clarke of West Des Moines; sister, Edith Claiborne of West Des Moines; brother, Clark A. Colby of Urbandale. Carol was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Charles I. Colby, Jr.

The family will receive friends 4-7:00 pm, Friday, February 7, 2014 at Westover Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cathedral Preservation Fund of The Cathedral Church of St. Paul. On-line condolences are welcome at


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

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