Surrounded by steadfast love in her Chattanooga, TN home, Melvina Gasaway “Mimi” Clark debuted in the great cloud of witnesses on Saturday, June 19th, 2021.
Her grand, gracious legacy flourishes in her profoundly grateful family: beloved husband, Rev. Lawrence C. Clark; devoted children Rev. Cynthia E. Pennington, Chattanooga, Rev. S. Mark Clark (Sara), Elon, NC, and Stephen W. Clark (Rebecca), Chattanooga; treasured grandchildren Rachel Clark (Juan), Isaiah Pennington, Immanuel Pennington, Karissa Joy Clark and Nicholas Clark, sisters Mary Fields (John) and Martha Dobson, brother Thomas Gasaway (Charlotte); great-grandsons Josiah and Jonathan Mendez Clark; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Sprayberry High School valedictorian (Marietta, GA), Emory University honor student, and graduate of UT Knoxville and Chattanooga, Melvina shaped countless lives through compelling example and pedagogy in speech, drama, English, and Latin. She relished teaching at Red Bank High School, (Chattanooga) and John Battle High School (Bristol, VA), leading students to new heights through drama productions, speech competitions, and international pilgrimages.
Mimi’s sacrificial love touched myriads of people as she and Lawrence itinerated among Holston Conference United Methodist churches and communities where she served like a Suzanna Wesley, worthy of full ordination. She was passionate about world travel, all forms of visual, written, and performance art, and above all, unwavering grace as a mother and wife. Her Irish heart overflowed in captivating storytelling, glorious soprano singing, and uncommonly warm hospitality.
A playful word-smith and vibrant communicator with dancing azure eyes, Melvina unstintingly imparted unconditional love, joie de vivre, hope, patience, and faithfulness from an incomparably generous heart. We will cherish her forever, looking toward a far brighter shore as we mourn and celebrate in a service of death and resurrection at First United Methodist Church of Rogersville, TN on Wednesday, June 23rd at 1:45 p.m., followed by a graveside bon voyage at Mary’s Chapel United Methodist Church (Bean Station). Receiving of friends will precede the service at First Rogersville UMC from noon to 1:30 p.m. The Rev. Dr. Chris C. Dover will officiate with Smith-Reagan Funeral Home, Rutledge, TN offering arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sapphire Octave Arts, 3424 Redding Road, Chattanooga, TN 37415.
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