Dr. Eddie L. Clark Jr., Family Physician

Posted: August 17, 1999

Dr. Eddie L. Clark Jr., a family practitioner in North Philadelphia and Oak Lane for 45 years, died Wednesday of pneumonia at Albert Einstein Medical Center. He was 81 and lived in Chestnut Hill for many years.

Clark practiced medicine at 21st and Diamond streets for 35 years in offices that often served up to 150 patients daily.

When he moved his office to Broad Street in Oak Lane, he maintained his hectic schedule until last month when sickness forced him into the hospital.

Clark was the eldest of three sons born to the late Eddie and Ida Clark in Hattiesburg, Miss. His parents died when their children were young, and the three boys were raised by an uncle in Mississippi.

Clark received his bachelor's degree from Tougaloo (Miss.) College in 1940 and his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., in 1944.

He worked his way through the schools as a busboy during the summers on a cruise ship out of Chicago.

After internships at Harlem Hospital in New York City and at Provident Hospital in Baltimore, Clark was a resident in general surgery at Taborian Hospital in Mount Bayou, Miss.

He practiced for eight years in Meridian, Miss., where he established a 12-bed hospital for African-Americans who were often refused proper medical treatment by hospitals there.

One of his patients, Ann Brown, became his wife in 1946.

"He knew how to win people over," Ann Brown said of her husband. "He had a very pleasant personality. He was witty."

After a two-year hitch in the U.S. Medical Corps during the Korean War, Capt. Clark was traveling to Harrisburg to pick up his discharge papers when bad weather forced him to stop off in Philadelphia.

While here, he agreed to a four-year deal to practice at 21st and Diamond.

Forty-five years later, he was still at it. Along the way, he received numerous awards, including the prestigious Sidney O. Drasnoff Award in 1982.

A member of numerous medical associations, Clark was a past secretary of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a longtime board member of Berean Institute.

As a 42-year member of Bright Hope Baptist Church, he served as a trustee and was campaign treasurer for U.S. Rep. Bill Gray for most of Gray's congressional tenure.

Clark was an avid reader of history books and medical journals.

He listened to a variety of music and watched TV news and documentaries.

The Clarks were world travelers who visited Europe several times. They especially enjoyed their trips to Moscow, Australia, Mexico, Panama and Trinadad.

Eddie Clark also was a licensed pilot who enjoyed computers, boating, public speaking and photography.

Clark is survived by his wife, Ann; two sons, Eddie 3rd and Alfonso; one brother, Albert Clark, and two grandchildren.

A viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m. today at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Services will be at 11 with burial following at Ivy Hill Cemetery on Easton Road.

Memorial contributions are requested for the Dr. E.L. Clark Scholarship Fund, c/o Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19122.

Linda Matthews

Services were held during the weekend for Linda Matthews, a former bank worker who enjoyed bowling and horseback riding.

Matthews was 37 when she died Aug. 8 after a courageous 21-month battle with breast cancer.

She had lived in Upper Darby for about eight years.

Born in Philadelphia, her family moved to New Jersey where she graduated high school.

She worked on the floors of Atlantic City casinos for several years before moving back to the Philadelphia area in the late 1980s.

In Philadelphia, she was a receptionist with CoreStates Bank. When the bank was taken over by First Union, she became a receptionist in First Union's capital markets division in Center City until leaving in 1997 for health reasons.

Matthews was a casual bowler at Sproul Lanes in Springfield, Delaware County.

She also enjoyed riding horses in Cobbs Creek and in Nevada when visiting her fiance.

Matthews is survived by her mother, Barbara Jean Linton; three sisters, Rosette, Barbara and Pamela Linton; two brothers, Larry Scott and Robert Linton; and her fiance, William J. Ebron.

She was buried in Glenwood Memorial Cemetery in Broomall.

Send e-mail to taylorl@phillynews.com

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