We Remember

CLARK, J. Elise

It is with sorrow that Elise’s daughters; Antonie and Nadine announce her passing.  Elise was raised in Tofield Alberta and learned from her parents, Arthur and Edna Torrie the arts of; grace, compassion, hard work and ingenuity. 


Elise was born and educated in Alberta, and received her R.N. Degree from the University of Alberta in 1951.  She married Robert Clark, a career R.C.A.F. Officer in 1953.  During their time stationed overseas, their two daughters were born.  While raising a young family she added a Diploma in Public Health Nursing from U.B.C. in 1965 to her credentials.  The family moved to Kelowna later that same year, where she worked as a Public Health Nurse until 1970.


Elise had a passion for protecting our environment, and for safety issues, which drove her to become very involved in community affairs.  Elise will be known for her dedication, her spirit, and her ‘hands-on” approach to solving problems.  Ask anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of working with Elise. 


Elise came to Kelowna in 1965, began serving, and there weren’t many challenges or causes she wouldn’t take on, here are a few of her notable achievements:


1966-69 – Various positions with Brownies


1969-72 – Member, Kelowna Chapter R.N.A.B.C.


1969 – President, while in office Chaired committee of Okanagan College, which prepared the plan to established the R.N. Granting Program


1969-74 – Director, Educational Convener, President for the Kelowna & District Society for Retarded Children


1969-98 – Charter Member, Director, John Howard Society, Kelowna


1970-72 – Researcher and author of a report advocating the establishment of a level of health care, called “Intermediate Care”, in B.C.


1974-93 – Councilor (Alderman/woman/person) City of Kelowna. 


1975 – Proposed successfully to City they add a “Woman of the Year’ Award to the Civic Awards, in recognition of the United Nations’ International Woman’s Year.  Also recommended it be named for the Former Chair of the Board of Trustees School District #23, Sarah Donalda Treadgold.


1975-79 – Council Appointee to the Planning Council, which established: Kelowna Women’s Emergency Shelter, S.H.A.R.E., Crisis Line, and Advice Services Kelowna.


1976 – Chaired the first Bicycle Committee of Council, which resulted in a comprehensive Bike System Plan and Bicycle Lanes.


1977 – City of Kelowna representative to, and later President of, the South Okanagan Similkameen Union Board of Health.


1977 – Co-Founded first non-profit Children’s Day-Care Society in Kelowna.


1977-78 – Central Okanagan Regional District Director: Member of the Committee, which researched and promoted the establishment of 9-1-1- Emergency Service.


1977-82 – Director, Vice-President, Past President, B.C. Association for the Mentally Handicapped.


1978-79 – Member of the National Parole Board.


1980-81 – Director of the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded.


1981 – Chaired the City’s Accessibility Committee, International Year of the Handicapped.


1981-98 – Co-founder, President of the Howard Fry Housing Society


1985 – Chaired the Crime prevention Committee, which led to establishment of Crime Stoppers in Kelowna, in 1987.


1988-98 – Broke gender barrier in Kelowna by becoming member of Kiwanis Club of Kelowna, High Noon.  Served as President 1997


1988-01 Parliamentarian for National Parole Board


1989 – City of Kelowna representative to the Okanagan Regional Library, later Treasurer for 3 years.


1991 – Chaired the B.C. Games for the Physically Disabled


1992-98 – Judge at the B.C. Law Foundation Cup Debates


1993 – President of Kelowna & District Safety Council and Director of B.C. Safety Council, Consultant Kelowna Community Kitchens Society.


1993-97 – Director of the Kiwanis Towers.


1994-97 – Founder, first President, of the K.L.O. Neighborhood Association.


1995 – Chair of the Central Okanagan United Way Campaign


1995-98 – – Volunteer tutor for Project Literacy


1995-98 – Member of the Respite Care Committee.


1996 – Wrote Constitution and By-Laws for the Friends of Mission Creek Society.


1996-98 – President of the Mid-Valley Bingo Association.


1997-98 Director of the Kiwanis Music Festival Society


Elise survived her mother and father, sister Ruth and husband Robert.  Surviving family members include her daughters Antonie Clark of Oliver BC, Nadine Clark of Kelowna, BC, her brother Bob Torrie of Ladysmith, B.C., her brother Jimmy (Ursula) Torrie of Nanaimo, B.C., and her sister Pat Hughes of Millet, AB.  As well there are many nieces and nephews who will also miss their Aunt Elise.


In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Kelowna United Way, 1456 St. Paul St., Kelowna, BC V1Y 2E6.


Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 2:00 - 6:00 pm

Guisachan House

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Kelowna United Way, 1456 St. Paul St., Kelowna, BC V1Y 2E6.


Service Information

Service Details

The service for CLARK, J. Elise is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 2:00 - 6:00 pm . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Guisachan House

1060 Cameron Ave., Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Wendy Majewski says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Elise when she served on City Council. She always took time to listen to the citizens of Kelowna and truly wanted to make a difference in her community. She applied her nursing education and experience in all her projects and community service with “heartfelt” integrity and passion. Elise’s intentions and work initiated positive change that was a catalyst to improve the City’s infrastructure and community services. These initiatives have become part of Kelowna’s history and have made lasting impressions for all ages and people from all lifestyles. Her commitment to fairness and equality influenced several changes in attitudes, policies and community services, which made significant improvements for the disabled, the disadvantaged, seniors, women and children, in the fields of education, health and well-being, public outreach programs and safety.

    I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to support and work with Elise on some of her passions. An impressive lady who accomplished so much for our City! Elise’s has made an incredible mark and impression for us all.

    May her daughter’s Toni and Nadine find comfort in knowing Elise is now in a better place and being rewarded for all her hard work and dedication.

    With much, love “Wendoshi”(Wendy Majewski)

  • Domenic Rampone says:

    Elise will be missed she always had a great outlook on life

    i got to know her very well over the years

    my thoughts and prayers with you

    Domenic Rampone

  • Meredith Murphy says:

    Hi Toni, so sorry to hear of your Mom. she was a very accomplished lady, Meredith (and Owen)

  • Sharon Shepherd says:

    Nadine and Antonie,
    Your mum had real passion for our community and made a real difference in so many areas. We had many discussions on the challenges of women in politics and I gained great insight from her. I know she will be missed and my thoughts are with both of you.Sharon Shepherd

  • Tony and Vy Markoff says:

    May Elise continue to be remembered with
    pride and respect as a good citizen,
    community builder, and a compassionate
    It was an honor to know and work with her

  • Darlene Laramie says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I got to know her when I served on the Board for the mentally challenged with her years back. She was a true humanitarian and a very classy lady.

  • June and George Cook says:

    Nadine and Antony: we were sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. Our thoughts go out to you both.

    We admired Elise’s contribution to the public life of Kelowna. She was a good friend and we enjoyed many evenings of bridge with her and Bob.

  • Chris & Ernie Thatcher says:

    It is with much sadness and caring that I respond to the passing of Elise. My connections with elise were through our Kiwanis club. She was a dedicated community worker and accomplished many advances during her years of service to many causes.
    Ernie and I send our depest sympathy to all family members.

  • Beryl Baldeo says:

    Dear Antonie and Nadine;
    Great sympathy on the death of your dear Mother, Elise.
    She worked very hard to make Kelowna a better place and we want to thank her and her family for that.
    Albert and I appreciated her very much for her commitment and dedication.
    God comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead. Much love, Beryl Baldeo

  • Carol Thomson says:

    Although I didn’t know Elise personally, I always think of her when I am in the Pandosy area of Kelowna. She did so much to make that area the lovely place that it is today, and I thank her.

  • Wendy Serko says:

    Dear Toni: Wanted to let you know I am thinking of you at this tough time. I remember thinking that is was pretty cool that your mom was a councillor. What a job she must have had working with all of those guys!! Take Care.

  • Dee Capozzi says:

    What an amazing lady! She contributed much to our community and I’m most appreciative of her many efforts! I got to know her best while walking our Standard a Poodles on Abbott. She was always happy and outgoing!

  • Denise Nahirney says:

    My sincere sympathy on the passing of your mother, Elise. We were on several committees over the years, always a pleasure to spend time with her.

  • David goodwin says:

    Elise gave us more than community service, she gave us two fantastic, intelligent strong women in Toni and Nadine. My thoughts are with you two old friends. Love Dave….

  • Mayor Walter Gray says:

    It is with regrets that I am unable to attend the open house and memorial service in honour of Elise Clark on Saturday, April 26th at the Guisachan House Restaurant due to personal travel plans.

    I want to express my appreciation and fond memories of Elise Clark who I was fortunate to serve with on City Council. Elise was my seat-mate (sat next to me) during my two terms as an Alderman from 1987 to 1988 and from 1989 to 1990. Now Council members are known as “Councillors”—no longer “Aldermen”— largely due to “prodding” by Elise at the provincial level.

    Once Elise was focused on a cause, it was often impossible to win her over to a different way of thinking. Very determined and steadfast was Elise.

    I remember her as absolutely determined and hard working. We co-chaired the original South Pandosy Revitalization Committee all those years ago.

    While Elise will be remembered as a hard working Councillor, many of her contributions to a “better Kelowna” were extracurricular and made as a citizen, even while on Council. Her heart and soul were in service to the citizens of Kelowna, and she will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

    I send my condolences to the family and friends of Elise Clark.

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