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Former Kelowna councillor passes

The City of Kelowna has lost a tireless worker and advocate.

Elise Clark, a former City Councillor and champion for dozens of causes recently passed away.

At Monday's City Council meeting, Mayor Walter Gray remembered Clark as an advocate for causes before they became mainstream.

"She was really drawn to being on council because of her interest in, first of all the environment. That was back in the days when talking about the environment wasn't particularly a popular subject," remembered Gray.

"You were a real crusader to take a chance and talk about the importance of preserving the environment. That's what brought her to council in 1974."

That was also back in the time when members of council were aldermen and not councillors.

"I remember Elise always trying to do whatever she could in her power to change the word alderman. Yet, she was understanding enough to know we couldn't call it alderwoman," says Gray.

"Eventually it became councillor which satisfied everyone and certainly Elise was happy about that."

She was just the third woman elected to Kelowna City Council serving 19 years from 1973 until 1994.

Clark came to Kelowna in 1965.

During her years in Kelowna, Clark served on numerous boards and assisted numerous causes from the National Parole Board and United Way to the Kiwanis Music Festival and John Howard Society.

In 1988 she broke the gender barrier becoming a member of Kiwanis Club of Kelowna, High Noon.

Clark was also co-founder of the Howard Fry Housing Society and the first non-profit Children’s Day-Care Society in Kelowna.

Funeral details have not been announced, however, Gray says a memorial service is scheduled for the spring.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Kelowna United Way.

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