|Cherry Nichols Clark, 86, of Rockport, formerly of Providence, R.I., died Thursday in Ledgewood Nursing Center in Beverly, after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late John L. Clark, retired senior partner in the Providence law firm Edwards & Angell, who died in 1987.Born in Cambridge, she was the daughter of the late John Taylor Gilman Nichols and his wife, Emily Alan (Smith) Nichols. She was a 1936 graduate of the Winsor School in Boston.
She had a lifelong interest in sports and was well known on Cape Ann as a tennis player and a sailor who raced her Rhodes 19 class sailboat Witchcraft into her early 80s. She regularly hosted parties at her Eden Road home for racing events out of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. In her earlier years, she had been a figure skater with the Cambridge Skating Club.
She also supported the athletic endeavors of her children and grandchildren and was familiar with most of the hockey rinks, gymnasiums and playing fields in New England.
In Providence, she was a former president of the Rhode Island Maternal Health Association which later became Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island and was founding president of radio station WJAR’s Call for Action, a hotline for citizens in need of help cutting through bureaucratic red tape. She was also an active volunteer in the mayoral campaigns of Frederick Lippitt.
She is survived by three sons, Thomas L. and his wife Nancy of Beverly, John G. of Windsor, Conn., and Rockport Selectman Charles H. and his wife Molly of Rockport; two daughters, Joanna and her husband Joseph Swayze of Dedham and Rockport, and Martha and her husband Andrew Rappoli of Rockport; eight grandchildren, Andrew Swayze and wife Jean of Burlington, Vt., Olivia Clark of New York City, John Clark and Leila Clark, both of Windsor, Conn., Madeline Rappoli and Reed Rappoli, both of Rockport, Joanna Clark and Gilman Clark, both of Rockport; a sister, Ann O’Grady Martin of Rockport; and several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her sister, Helen Thompson of Rockport, and her brother, John Taylor Gilman Nichols III of Marblehead.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, Rockport.
Friends and relatives are invited to attend.
Arrangements are by the Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main St., Rockport.