"Clare M. Conk passed away peacefully at her home in Santa Barbara on Sunday, February 1, 2015. She was 92.
Clare and her husband, George, marked their 70th anniversary on January 27, 2015. She is also survived by her children, George, Nancy, Peter, Kathryn and Stephen; her grandchildren, Molly Castor; Max Looker; Theresa Conk; Mindy, Lonnie and Patrick Miron-Conk; and Sophia Conk; and her great grandchildren, Clare and Ella Castor; and Evan, Kaylee and Lily Sereno.
Clare was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she also graduated magna cum laude from St. Joseph’s College in June 1943. She was first in her class in U.S. Navy midshipman school at Smith College. She was a USN communications officer at Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia until her honorable discharge in April 1945.
Clare received her M.A. in Education from Hofstra University in 1954 and was a secondary school teacher for 15 years.
In 1980, Clare began her law practice after reading for the bar. With only one year of formal law school classes, she took and passed the California Bar exam on her first attempt. She practiced law until 1992 when she turned 70.
She served on the Board of Directors of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) for 25 years and the board of Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation for nearly 30 years.
In 2010, SBCHC honored her by rededicating its senior housing community on Castillo Street as Clare Conk Castillo Homes.
Clare and George loved to travel and explored all over Europe on 18 different trips, as well as journeying to parts of Scandinavia, Russia, Fiji and New Zealand. They typically would stay for a month in one area to have more of an experience of living in a place rather than just being tourists.
Clare loved sailing and boating. On summer vacations in Maine with her children, well into her 80s, hers would be the first hand raised whenever the call went out “Anyone for a boat ride?” Whether it was taking the boat to watch the lobster boat races or over to Christmas Cove for lunch, Clare was a lifelong boating enthusiast and her children followed suit.
Clare will be remembered at a memorial mass at 4 p.m. Friday, February 6, in Serra Chapel, St. Barbara Parish at the Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna St.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her memory to California Rural Legal Assistance or Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation/Clare Conk Castillo Homes.