Half Staff – Ann Marie Clarke Ouellette

April 1, 2012
Ann M. Ouellette, 79, resident of Rockport, passed away April 1, 2012 at the Kaplan House, Danvers, MA following a brief illness.Born in Adams, Massachusetts on June 25, 1932 to James Frederick Clarke and Victoria (Szetela) Clarke, she is survived by her younger siblings, Carole Myron, James F. Clarke, Eileen Keighley and her husband Robert, and J. Michael Clarke, her three sons, Donald Richard “Jean-Paul” Ouellette, Thomas James Ouellette, and Stephen Michael Ouellette, his wife Karen and their daughters Emma and Jamey, her poodle Periwinkle, her close friend and colleague, Suzanne Pemsler, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Fiercely independent, Ann escaped the Berkshires and moved to Boston after High School. She married Gerald Albert Ouellette of Adams, Massachusetts on July 7, 1951, living in Cambridge, Belmont and Rockport. They divorced in 1984. Ann traveled, camped and hiked with her family throughout the Northeast, the Canadian Maritimes and as far South as Mexico City.

Ann turned her volunteer work at the Belmont Day School into a career as its first official librarian from 1968-1994, founding its library, developing its media center, and as a teacher and curriculum coordinator. She graduated from Cambridge College in 1983 and received her Masters Degree in Library Sciences from Lesley College in 1992. The delight she took in her students, including field trips to her Coast Guard Station in Rockport, was only equaled by her love of her grandchildren Emma and Jamey, in all of whom she instilled her love of books and of reading. After retirement to Rockport, she spent much of her time enjoying the company of Emma and Jamey, volunteering at the Rockport Public Library and serving on the Board of the Schooner ADVENTURE.

A published writer, poet and painter, she has exhibited at many locations and her works adorn many walls, especially those of her large extended family. Until her death, Ann remained independent, traveling frequently from Rockport to her studio in Boston by train or car and was an active member of the South End Art community and a board member of the United South End Artists. She was a member of the Wet Hens of the Gloucester, YMCA and the Wang YMCA of Chinatown where she enjoyed the company of many good friends. Ann loved the ocean and, while a member of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, was an avid sailor and ocean canoeist.

A service celebrating her life is planned for 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the First Congregational Church in Rockport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United South End Artists, Boston, Massachusetts or to the Kaplan House in Danvers, Massachusetts.