Jane A. Clarke, an aide to 2 politicians

Jane A. Clarke
Jane A. Clarke
Posted: May 19, 2014

Jane Adams Clarke, 89, an administrative assistant to Pennsylvania Lt. Govs. Raymond P. Shafer and Raymond J. Broderick, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Saturday, May 3, at Seacrest Village, an assisted living community in Little Egg Harbor, N.J., where she had lived for the last six years.

Mrs. Clarke worked for Shafer during his term as lieutenant governor from 1963 to 1967 and for Broderick during his term from 1967 to 1971, when Shafer was governor.

She then was executive secretary, from 1969 until her retirement in 1987, for Nicholas A. Cipriani, a Philadelphia Family Court judge from 1969 to 2003, a sister, Nancy Jones, said.

Born in Philadelphia, Mrs. Clarke grew up in Germantown and graduated from Olney High School in 1943 and from Peirce Business College in Philadelphia in 1946.

She and her father, Edward, were Republican committee members for several years in Germantown, her sister said.

After she retired from government work, her sister said, Mrs. Clarke focused on genealogical research.

Emily Shaw, administrative manager for the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in Center City, said Mrs. Clarke was its president from 1991 to 1995.

She was its executive director from 1995 to 1997, Shaw said, when she was elected a fellow. She was editor of its quarterly magazine, Penn in Hand, from 1984 to 1999.

Mrs. Clarke joined the society in 1972, Shaw said, "and served in lots of other capacities over the years."

Adams recalled that "my sister would take people to Salt Lake City to do research" at the Family History Library there.

But beginning in the 1960s, while still working in Harrisburg, she had sought out her own family roots, and gone "to Germany and researched with people there."

And, Adams said, "she researched for other people while she was there."

Lewis L. Neilson Jr., a Wyndmoor lawyer who was the society treasurer from 1993 to 2008, recalled her as "extraordinarily dedicated" to her work.

During her years, he said, the society "expanded from a room in the Historical Society" of Pennsylvania, at 13th and Locust Streets, to two floors in a building across Locust Street.

"She played such a vital and important role" in that expansion, he said. The Genealogical Society office is now on Chestnut Street near 22d Street.

Besides her sister, Mrs. Clarke is survived by another sister, Mary Adams. She was predeceased by her husband, Peter.

A memorial service was set for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 7, at the Wayside Chapel, 1157 Horsham Rd., Ambler, with interment in Whitemarsh Memorial Park.

Donations may be sent to https://genpa.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at Thomas L. Shinn Funeral Home, 10 Hilliard Dr., Manahawkin, N.J. 08050.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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