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Video Tribute by Audrey's granddaughter, Laila van der Meulen
Photos provided by Clark and
van der Meulen families
Video clips provided by
Meindert van der Meulen
Audrey's daughters Lola and Susan, along with Susan's son-in-law Donavon Frankenreiter and her son Michael, performing at her Memorial Service on October 16,2016 - San Clemente, California.
This video was made by Meindert for the Memorial Service of Audrey's husband, Don Clark. Don passed away in San Clemente, California in 2009 when he was 93.
Audrey was my father's sister, the sibling who came next after him. They grew up together and and he loved her dearly.
Dad would wake early in the morning and write about his childhood memories.
I found this sweet recollection about Audrey among his various writings.
Daddy passed away when he was only 68, but his beloved sister lived on until she was 92 and I was able to share this with her a few years ago.
When I was just a little lad
Born 1922 in Trinidad
I had a little sister named Audrey
Who was so very, very pretty.
Audrey was blonde and blue-eyed too
And was the envy of all who
Had the pleasure of her company
Who was a delight to hear and see
Especially when she felt happy.
She sang and danced both day and night
A real treat to behold, that’s right!
When Audrey tapped her toes in tune
Many a boy was apt to swoon
And when she sang those beautiful blues
She all but sent you through your shoes!
When once there was a contest for a prize
For beauty and talent to be apprised
T’was between a Chinese-creole named Thora
And little Audrey, each of a different colour
T’was counted from the number of newspaper clippings
The public sent for their choice from their siblings
And though we tried so hard to collect
The clippings fell short with great regret
The result was not fair and was judged
By who could buy the most papers with pictures severed
The total of each pretty face was counted in favour
Of she whose presence on paper exceeded the other.
Unfortunately and in universal dismay
The result threw our family in great disarray
To think that one so absolutely beautiful and gifted
Should lose through insufficient pictures counted.
From then until this very day, I’ll always feel
That popularity can never be decided
From the sale of newspapers so guided
The Queen of the local Trinidad scene
Remained our dear, sweet Audrey supreme.
The years went by, and as you guessed
Sweet Audrey’s lovely attitude was blessed
With thoughts of others of only the best.
She met in Trinidad and married a young man
Who was a qualified engineer and an American.
Don Clark was the name of this affable gent
Who met, mixed with and blended his accent
With those of our family of La Belle Trinidad
And all else whom he met he thought “not bad”.
But sorry to say, there came that sad day
When Audrey and Don and Susan their daughter
Packed bags and left us for the great U.S.A.
Taking with them the cause of happy laughter.
Don and Audrey were married in March forty-three
Still loving and caring for others and each other
What a wonderful spirit our Audrey has
Optimism rules her every thought and deed.
18 March, 1943
St. Ann's Church of Scotland, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Audrey was the 11th child in the Sheppard Family.
In this family photo, she is the blonde girl on the far left, holding her baby sister Flo's hand. Next to her is my father, Andrew.