Dr. Mary Dorcas Clark Harley, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother died on Nov, 9, 2018, at her home. She was in her 98th year, having recently celebrated her Halloween birthday.
Dr. Clark practiced medicine for over 50 years, 16 of those at the Indiana Regional Medical Center as a radiologist. Her commitment to improving women’s health and preventing breast cancer eventually led to the Indiana Regional Medical Center naming the M. Dorcas Clark, MD Women’s Imaging Center in her honor.
She was involved in many community activities and services, but was especially fond of her association with the Athena Organization and its outreach to support and mentor high school girls toward their career goals. Dr. Clark was also an avid supporter of women’s athletics at IUP especially the IUP women’s basketball team. She was a founder of WELCOME and a tireless advocate and improvement of her adopted hometown.
Born in Hopwood in 1921, she grew up on a small farm in a community where her father was principal and later superintendent of schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University . In 1945, Dr. Clark graduated from medical school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and went on to complete her residency there as well. She was in private practice in internal medicine from 1950-’64 in Washington, D.C., Terra Alta, and Morgantown. She became a radiologist and practiced in Morgantown and Fargo, N.D., before moving to Indiana, Pa. In 1980, she joined the Indiana Hospital and led the Mammography Services until her retirement in 1996 at age 75.
The Inter-Service Council of Indiana County named Dr. Clark to be the Civic Leader of the Year in 1988. She received the Athena Award in 1991 in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of women, her profession and the community. As much as Dr. Clark loved her profession, she would always tell people that she was a mother first and then a physician. Her pride in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren is attested to by the layers of family photos on her refrigerator and throughout her home.
Her parents, her brother, Tom; her sisters, Patti and Margaret; and her ex-husband, Dr. John B. Harley, preceded her in death.
Dr. Clark is survived by her four children, Dr. John Harley, of Cincinnati, Dr. D. Joanne Lynn and husband, Rev. Dr. Barry Lynn, of Chevy Chase, Md., Thomas Harley and wife, Patrice Harley, of Indiana, and Mary Shearon and husband, Art Shearon, of Alexandria, Va.; along with her eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Her advice to her children, grandchildren and most likely her great-grandchildren would be “Don’t smoke cigarettes, get a good education, and always, always do the right thing.” For those who knew her, Dorcas Clark was an incredibly intelligent and generous soul, and her impact on the people around her was profound as she did the “right thing” throughout her life. She counted 14 young people that she paid all or a portion of their tuition to help them achieve the education that was so important to her.
Dr. Clark was a longtime member of Graystone Presbyterian Church, in Indiana. There will be a celebration of her life at Graystone Church at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Her friends, relatives and those she touched are invited to attend and celebrate a life well lived.
In keeping with her devotion to future generations and the health of women, the family requests that donations in lieu of flowers be made in her honor to the M. Dorcas Clark MD Women’s Imaging Center, Indiana Healthcare Foundation, 835 Hospital Road, Indiana, PA 15701, or to the scholarship fund Dr. Clark established at the University of Maryland, Medical Alumni Office, 522 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21201.
The Bowser-Minich Funeral Home has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.