If you have memories of Patty that you would like to share on this page, please email them to Jared at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: if you you already sent a message that should be on this page but isn't here, send Jared an email to make sure he knows he has permission to post it.
Patty has been a part of my life ever since I came to live with Carol in 2000. My first real glimpse of them was as I stepped off the plane at the Sunport. I remember being really scared and nervous, but Carol and Patty both came up to me and hugged me, making me feel at ease. We walked to baggage claim and Patty pointed out the sunset over the mountains. She always noticed things that no one else did. Whenever we all went on road trips together she was always the first to point out some beautiful scenery or an animal.
She was such a good friend, and almost like a second mom too, since she and Carol were so much like sisters. She always was very logical and reasonable, and calm. Most of the memories I have of her are of all three of us sitting around Carol's kitchen table just talking and laughing over various foods and cups of coffee or tea. She had this wonderful laugh and it was contagious - you just couldn't help laughing too when you heard it. One day she was frying up calamari in the kitchen and she shared some with me and everyone else, and it was the best. No one has ever been able to fry it like she did.
She loved her Dandi, kahlua coffee, kaleidoscopes, and Jared. I was so happy for them when they got together. They both really needed each other, and to me, it seemed they completed each other. I wish I had more time to spend with her, as I'm sure everyone else does, too.
We love you, Patty
Please know that I mean this in the best possible way but I have missed Patty's "oh, brother" comments these past couple of weeks when I, or someone else, has put up a comment that might be controversial. She was usually the one to confirm that it was!!!
On behalf of the Board of Directors of GRASP, please accept our deepest sympathies on the passing of Patricia Clark. Patty was one of those road pavers, those old-guarders, whose activism has allowed GRASP to bypass so many difficult hurdles that she and so many others faced during vastly different times. For before she was not yet a conscious autism advocate,she was fighting to emerge a whole person; battling health conditions,antiquated ideas, and doing so in communities that didn't have the educational opportunities we city folk enjoy. She emerged from all this intact, and then dedicated herself to being a selfless advocate; one who had the luck, or the vision, to see the big picture. We honor her historical place in this miraculous wave we see, of self-advocacy, of empowerment, and subsequent happiness now reaching people diagnosed along the autism spectrum. Patty was a force for good. She was a great egg. My personal time with Patty was too short, but I admired her from our meals together, and our talks. She knew herself well. And she had an innate toughness about her that prevented anyone from making her feel bad about who she was, or about what made her different. These are qualities that cannot be underestimated as necessary for someone diagnosed with autism, Asperger Syndrome, or PDD, should they ever decide to be satisfied with themselves. I'll miss her. She was loud, and she was fun. We will think of you Thursday with sorrow, but proudly, proudly, proudly.
Michael John Carley Executive Director GRASP
Out of the fog, a thought: I am so glad Patty and Jared found each other when they did. I think back to when Patty was living in Arizona, struggling with the incomprehension of everyone she looked to for support. Since she moved east, she has been so much happier.
What made Patty Patty and what made Jared Jared is the lives they lived before they met. They became the people who could love each other and be happy together. If they had met 35 years ago, they might never have "connected."
I don't think Patty would wish away the first five decades of her life, even though there were some mighty hard years in there. She did a lot, learned a lot, saw a lot, felt a lot.
Patty was like an Aunt to me, I knew her since 1998. She has been a gift to me and will be missed by me for a long time to come. I remember some of the good times like I loved when she made me laugh and we also had sad times too. Thinking back I would not be me if not for her. One time we went to Church on Christmas Eve here. One time I went to see her at Jared's house in Atlanta and one time in Dolan Springs. There are a lot of things I could say but I can't put them in words on paper, to have known her was enough to me. Be with God in Peace.
Patty will be truly missed.........
I can not envision life without Patty.
I met Patty 4 years ago and she became a director of our ASA-Georgia board. The next year Patty became one of our Officers and grew into an amazing advocate, friend, and inspired all who came in contact with her. Her most recent project ---we were putting together and writing lesson plans for conducting social skills/support group, specifically focusing on teenagers and adults on the Spectrum. The groups would be in the north and south end of the Atlanta area . A much needed service!
This was in addition to the adult support group that Patty was involved in with Bob Morris leading. We all at ASA-GGC will be lost without her----
Patty--we will always love and remember you.
Angela Collins, President
Autism Society of America-Greater Georgia
I sit here with tears for a woman I barely knew..but oh how she has inspired me since I've joined this list. She truly stood for what's good in this world. I will sadly miss her insight and humor. Hope she's in a better place.
I have been on this AS list since 1998 and even though Patty wouldn't probably even know who I am, I have gotten to feel I know her by reading her posts over all this time. Patty is just my age - it is my birthday today and I am now 60. I was thinking today that every day I am alive seems to be a blessing as so many have not made it as long as I have. I remember when Patty went to live with Jared. I was so pleased that she found the love and companionship of someone who loved and respected her. So at the end of her life she has had that love. I am so sorry to read that she will not survive the night. I always thought I would get to meet her one day ( I always imagine meeting in person the people I get to know online).
I met Patty in 1996 or thereabouts when my oldest son was dx'd w/AS and I joined Barb's group. It was very young and small then, and we had a really wonderful group of parents and adults w/AS who came together and shared and shared. Patty's wisdom and willingness to share with us parents was invaluable. Her humor and her brilliance was so reassuring to me that I knew my kids were going to be fine. Because of adults w/AS like Patty and others who so kindly deal w/us parents who are sometimes clueless, I was able to impart to my kids that they were incredible people and they are so proud of their aspieness and their role models. They will always be proud of who they are and will continue to advocate for themselves. I hope that Patty's legacy will live on through those who's lives have been touched by Patty. I know that it will through my children. Thank you Patty. I will forever miss you.
I wish I had known Patty longer. But the quality of time spent made up for the lack of quantity. Patty was the best vintage of aged autistic wine; genuine, highstrung and sincere yet often wise, sensitive, calm and perceptive, all depending on the moment. We should all grow to have such patience, compassion and dedication to listening and reaching out to the most irritating people as she did.
She never said anything unkind of anyone that I heard or read. I can never live up to that as my past is already there but in the future, I will remember Patty's example in all of my dealings with auties, NTs and all living creatures.
Friend of Patty, 2002 to Infinity
I think that the only way to be sure we can cope reasonably well when someone close to us dies (and sooner than you think someone will) is to fully accept (or as fully as we can) that this is inevitable and not be scared of it. Never depend so much on someone that we can't imagine being without them. (Patty would agree - Jared)
I grieve, but in a more distant way - appreciating the things she has done, the influence she has been.
I remember meeting Patty many, many years ago when I joined this list. She was insightful and shared with me a world that my children live in - one that I didn't always "get."
She tried to give help to others near her -- she reached out in the world to make a difference.
I will miss her --
I am very sorry to learn about Patty's demise and her many troubles. From reading your excellent Web presentation, I see that many people loved and admired her. That is one of the best legacies we can leave. I wish we had known her (and you!) more...this big country and our busy lives keep us apart. I strongly agree with her feeling that people should simplify their lives and make smaller demands on the earth's resources.
Just got word today, about Patty, from Dan, via email plus a telephone message from Dan. I was so surprised.... and rather shocked. I still have pleasant memories of both of you staying with me in Oakland and meeting several other members of AUTASTICS (our local A.S./H.F.A. social / support group) in my apartment, during your brief visit here in August, 2003. I also look back with nostalgia to meeting you both at my first AUTREAT (in Brantingham, NY) only one month before that.
I'm just getting to my email. I don't know what to say. Patty was always very nice to me.
Annie, who loves ya
But they got too few years together, it's so unfair. All those years apart, then Patty and Jared find each other and in less than a decade she's gone. It just isn't right.
There's no appeal court on these things though. But it ain't right. It's good she got some happiness but it's not good enough.
Why not a sour old miserable bag of wind like me? Why her? Why Chris? Why do we lose these wonderful people?
I know, there isn't an answer because there isn't a force in charge. It's a truly unplanned thing, I'm sure of it.
I'll be grieving up here in Canada by myself. Nobody I know could understand why an online friendship might matter so much.
I loved Patty though. I grieve.
I'm gonna miss that woman. I really am. I hope she runs into Chris.
I wanted to express my sympathy to you and add my name to the list of many who will miss her presence on ANI-L. I was looking forward to meeting her in person at the ASA conference in Nashville last week, I wish that had worked out. I apprecieate all that she did and the legacy she has left for future generations.
I didn't know Patty at all, but I valued her contributions to the list. I am extremely sad that I didn't know her better.
Patty was my friend. And there are no words to describe where she and I have been. All I can say is:
Patty Clark has brought many from the dark, giving them a little spark.
The rights she and others fought for many, even though she never got any.
A gleam in my eye will always be there, for she has given much to share.
The spirit of a woman up against all odds, revels forever in the ones who nod.
My hope is for her loved ones to know, she was so much more than she could show.
Love, Peace, & Auspie Rock,
Very sorry to hear how things are. Sorry seems an inadequate word at times like this.
First off, I want to say that I am very sad about Patty. I have been quietly watching and concerned. :-(
It is the same with me and Dick. If I had met him as a teenager, or about the time I met my first husband, I do not think we would have even been interested in each other. We were both very different people then.
I was very insecure and tended to let people walk all over me. Dick was not a patient person in his younger years. I don't think he would have been as understanding of my quirks.
Battle scarred and weary, we had become perfect for each other when we did meet.
I'm so sorry that you've lost your companion, this remarkable woman, Patty. Sadness sweeps over me and I hardly knew her. May the spirit of peace visit you often over the past few days.
I am really going to miss Patty. That probably sounds insignificant, but there are very few people online I would miss. Patty was an important component of my online community. Many groups will be less for her absence from them.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all
I remember Patty once telling me that her "savant skill" was doing well on IQ tests - that she was not always able to manage real life very well, but she looked intelligent on paper!
I am sad that she is gone.
I'm so sorry. Patty has been a long-term, valued, and insightful member of the Asperger list. She will be missed.
I can't begin to express my feelings, maybe I'm still in shock. But I will pass the news along to those she knew and loved. No idea what you are going through, hope you had family and friends close by to help you through this difficult time. You meant the world to Patty. We have known her for a long time and she's been her happiest since you came into her life, we've been able to see the changes in her and feel her happiness. So for that we both thank-you. I'm also glad we had the opportunity to visit with you and spend some time with both of you.
If there is anything we can do, please feel free to ask.
Laura and Doug
Good please convey to her that I am thinking about her and praying too.
Our hearts and prayers are with you and Patty. When you need anything at all please call. Zeph and I want to help you.
Mind reeling... don't know what to say. I'm very sorry, Jared. My thoughts are with both of you and with those close to her. Our Patty.... She seems like "Auntie Patty" in IRC.
(Written when Patty was in the hospital)
I have to echo what Jane said.
Jared, you gave her the best years of her life. You gave her happiness, love, and trust. As hard as it is for you now, I'm thankful Patty doesn't have to face this alone. She has YOU.
I am so sorry to hear that Patty died. She was a a special person and I am honored to have known her. ... I know this will be hard .....be at peace and godspeed........
Patty was a wonderful and tireless advocate for the autism community. She shared her experience with me freely, and really gave everyone wonderful insight and perspective on what it was like to live with autism. She will be missed deeply for her caring and her actions.
Oh my God! Jared. What happened to Patty? I remember your visit so vividly and cannot imagine her suffering any hardship. How are you doing? My heart goes out to you.
Once again, I'm terrible with words at this point, but I wanted to say something.
She was a great lady, and friend.
I'd known her online for years.
In the book Women From Another Planet? one can read about her and remember her.
I'm sure more will come to me later when I can think more clearly. :(
Being behind in mail and saving some of the threads to read later for when I had time, I have two posts from Patty that were made prior to her falling ill. I read them this morning and it is truly a sad feeling to know that just a short time ago she was here on our list offering her advice. Life is so short. I have been a member of this list since June 1998. Patty has always offered her take on things as a person with autism as well as a parent. I will miss her posts. My prayers go to her family.
I haven't had direct contact with Patty but would like to say that I learned a lot about her and autism by her posts and her website. I have a boy with Aspergers and need to know how he thinks to deal with him in an appropriate way and Patty, with her literate ways, has helped me with that in a big way. She will be missed by more people than she ever knew. Thanks to all who help others in their journeys, especially Patty.
I did not learn until today of Patty's death. I am crushed and my sympathy is with you, Jared. I will never forget the lovely visit with you and Patty when you came through Louisville. Patty was a great inspiration, and as a couple, you were both great role models. The world is an emptier place now without Patty's marvelous presence.
My name is Rochelle-ann Röber; I am a South African living in the Netherlands and I met Patty on the Aspires list. I was saddened to hear of her death and I will miss her - I already have.
Patty gave me much advice on my personal journey in search of answers, but one of the things I appreciate most is the candid way she put things into perspective. No-one can say things straighter and more effectively than Patty.
I feel privileged to have met her and to have shared her company on Aspires and grateful to have benefited from her advice.
So I wish comfort and love and fond memories to the persons she has left behind. Kind regards,
I am deeply sorry that Patty has left us. She was a good friend to me. She was very supportive to me in IRC, as well as through INLV list. I am still in shock by what has transpired. I'm so glad that you were such a good friend and partner to her. I know that her last years were very happy and productive ones, even though she had a lot of hard times previously.
I donated through paypal.
Pattys presence and leadership in the support group was so vital that I found the situation insufferable when she was absent. Patty had the courage and the wits to intervene in situations where merited. As an Officer of ASA Georgia, she provided a female autistic's voice and articulated many of the concerns and feelings that I seemed to be unable to find the words (or understand my own emotions well enough) to express. On a trip to the ASA national conference in Pittsburgh, Patty gave up a plane seat to ride back in my pickup truck with two autistic young men and me. This was an extreme sacrifice for her because she had to lay down on mattresses in the back bed of the truck for most of the return trip when she was not sharing in the driving. She also intervened when the truck had radiator hose trouble and I was so completely overwhelmed that I could not cope or think clearly about the proper response. Patty related how her parents and teachers so oppressed her with conforming that she had no energy left over to discover and develop talents that she might have had as an autistic. This resonated with my own experience. Her experience at being medically damaged by doctor's mistreatment also resonated with my own experience in that regard - at least I knew that I was not alone. Most of all I appreciate how Patty articulated for both of us what being on the ASA Georgia Board meant to both of us. For the first time I, like Patty, felt greatly valued for what I was as a human being with autism and particularly valued a person of positive accomplishment who could be a great blessing in the autism community.
I only knew Patty through Internet listserve contact, but whenever she responded to my questions and concerns, her responses were always thorough, and extremely enlightening. I have a 5-year-old son with autism, and Patty definitely helped me on several occasions see things differently, and make decisions I might not have otherwise made (good ones!) I will miss her presence on the Internet very much. My thoughts are with her family and friends!
On her web site, Patty wrote: "The problem with autism is that it is not perceived or dealt with realistically and positively." That's Patty: realistic and positive. Simultaneously.
It's not always easy for me to get to know people over the internet. Figuring out who is who in an online group can take quite a while. Except for the few who ring through so clearly in each message that they are real and individual right away. That's Patty: clearly and recognizably herself every time.
She wasn't someone whose life story you heard from her right away or all at once. Just now and then some piece of it would be relevant to the discussion, and then I'd be amazed. She did that? She survived that? Wow. That's Patty: matter of fact about the amazing.
I've been lucky to meet a lot of good people in cyberspace. Almost all of them have been decent and responsible. Patty was that and more. She was someone I relied on not just for honesty (though she was honest) and not just for a sense of proportion (though she had that in abundance), but also for...how to say it? For bedrock.
She was and is a presence in my life, though we never met. I felt better about the world knowing she was out there, being herself. Now her messages won't be lighting up my inbox anymore. But she's still a presence in my world and she always will be.
After I got this message in my mailbox, I went offline and didn't get my email until now. I didn't want to know Patty was gone, even though I knew it on Sunday, I could feel it. I spent the day with my boyfriend, feeling sad, crying, and talking to him about Patty and all the people I have known who had died and how I felt about all of them. I fretted over the possibility of my boyfriend also dying and what I would do without him. He reassured me he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
I have had a lot of people that I know die in the past year and so I have been crying off and on for the past three days and feeling really sad and not like doing much of anything.
Today I went through my mailbox and read all the messages I still had from Patty in there. It was kind of weird to read messages from her as if she were still here when I knew she was gone.
What I remember about Patty is last year when I wanted to go to Autreat, she was giving me a lot of helpful information on how to pay for it and how to get there and suggesting I take my son with me. Also, after our car accident a year ago, she offered some really helpful information on helping my son recover from the trauma of the accident. She was sort of like a mother/mentor to me from a distance.
I've known of Patty online on several autism lists. To me, she was one of the bigger, more important (to me) autistic people that stood out to me and that I remembered all the time. So I will miss her presence on these lists. Like others, I wish I had had the opportunity to get to know her more and to have met her in person too. I like reading what other people have to say about her.
Lisa the Dreamer
I sit here sad and shocked to hear the news of Patty's passing. I'll never forget at my first Autreat a number of years ago when Patty said to cheer me up, "Hey? What's wrong with failing? You can always get up and fail something new." I'll miss her spirit and her love of life.
Dear Jared, sending our thoughts to u at this time, we are Mick and Summermum from UK. We will always have very fond memorys of Patty, our special pal, whom we met on IRC, when we were struggling with understanding our baby son Christopher's diagnosis with Autism.
Patty, through the months and years, guided us through understanding and helping Mick through his diagnosis of Autism too Patty gave us a valuable insight and helped both Myself and Mick come to terms with our life, not missing any thing out that she thought we may both benefit from.
Our freind Patty, always in our thoughts and prayers.X
Jared, God Bless
I still can't believe Patty's gone. I've only known her online, but I miss her very much. She was the one who originally invited me to the Autscape planning list, and whenever I felt unsure about carrying on with the organisation, she gave me support and encouragement mixed with her wry humour.
The venue for the first ever Autscape was chosen with Patty's recommendation very much in mind - that she found wide open space essential for destressing when things got tough. Patty's photo was displayed in the main conference room at Autscape 2005. I wish she could have joined us in person... :'(
I was shocked and saddened to hear about Patty's death. Please accept my sincere sympathy.
You two were a terrific couple, and when you made a presentation in June to the University of Georgia COPPA (Collaborative Personnel Preparation in Autism) teachers, they learned much about Asperger syndrome and caring. You and Patty showed one another such loving respect that teachers said it was a joy to listen to both of you. You were able to talk about your experiences with humor, insight, and honesty. I know these teachers will have a better understanding of Asperger syndrome and will be more empathetic towards their students because of the opportunity to hear you and Patty talk firsthand about your lives.
Personally, it was so interesting and enlightening to know Patty. To me, the most impressive memory I have is her tremendous courage. She didn't like going to new locations around Atlanta – traveling and finding her way was a bit of a challenge, she told me. And speaking before the group was also difficult. She expressed that she wasn't always sure what people wanted to know. But she never hesitated in accepting my invitation. She was always on time, and was always a hit! Some speakers do not invoke enthusiasm from the audience, but the UGA teachers always had a lot of questions for Patty, and she answered each one skillfully!
I pray that Patty is being blessed for her years of service to all persons with Asperger syndrome and those who love them!
*Belated condolences from me to Patty's family and in reading her biography it is clear to see that she had these positive neurodiverse traits that were beneficial to all those around her and within the survivors, neurodiverse and disability movements and to all humanity. She was one ND who was not easily fooled and taken in by those 'in-power' and she had a honest frank way of communication and caring for others and showed great conviction and integrity throughout her life, in which is shared by many nd's.
I wish I would have had the chance to met her!!
Colin Revell, UK and global neurodiverse and disability movement and member and 'user-led' survivor, advocate, educator, advisor and researcher within the UN Disability Convention