AUGUSTA - Beverly Clark Daggett passed away in the early morning of Sunday, September 6th 2015 after a long and courageous hospital battle. The underlying cause was complications from long-term kidney disease.
She was predeceased by her father, Rev. John G. Clark, from whom she inherited her height, and her mother, Rev. Dr. Beth P. Clark, from whom she inherited her iron will. Her love of learning, keen intellect, and strong faith were passed down from both parents. She was also predeceased by her beloved brother John G. Clark Jr, with whom she shared a mischievous sense of humor and an untreated addiction to the word game Boggle.
Born in Florence, South Carolina, Beverly spent most of her childhood in Virginia and North Carolina, following the postings of her minister father. Though subtle, her Southern influences could be seen in the cornbread and fried okra she served at the dinner table along with her lifelong loathing of swimming in cold water. She graduated from high school in Radnor, Pennsylvania and earned a BS in Biology from Hillsdale College in Michigan. She came to the central Maine area because of family property on Webber Pond in Vassalboro, where she spoke fondly of summers spent as a teenager. After college, Beverly worked as a social worker in Augusta. However, her status as a Maine transplant was not settled until she crossed paths with the dashing and mustachioed Thomas Alden Daggett in 1969. These inseparable lovebirds were married in 1971.
During much of the 1970s and early 1980s, Beverly spent her time in the most noble of professions that does not convey a fraction of the work it actually requires: Mom. She was an endless source of nurturing warmth and support to her three beloved children: John Thomas, Page Marie and Paul Clark. Beverly's kitchen was a special place; Saturday mornings meant her signature (and buttery) breakfast pancake or rolls made from scratch and spring meant the sweet achy sourness of rhubarb everything. Beverly was a frequent visitor in her children's classrooms doing everything from playing guitar and singing songs to making root beer with the students. In between cooking and helping with homework, she somehow found time for a full slate of her own athletic activities including tennis and softball. Beverly's low-key style belied her intensely competitive nature on the court and playing field.
Beverly served for a time on the Augusta School Board but was put on her eventual career path in 1986, with a special election to represent District 88 in the Maine State House of Representatives. She would go on to serve five terms in the House and four terms in the Maine Senate, culminating with her term as Senate President in 2002-2003. This was the perfect second career for Beverly, as it allowed her to combine her passion for advocacy and lifelong support of the less fortunate with her love of schmoozing.
Beverly moved into a semi-retired status after the Senate which for her meant juggling only 25 things instead of the usual 50. In addition to teaching Sunday school and serving as a substitute organist at Green Street United Methodist Church, Beverly remained active in local politics as a Commissioner for Kennebec County. She also adapted just fine to the rise of the internet, which allowed her to carry on as many as ten Words with Friends games at any given time. The latest statistics indicate she was victorious no less than 80% of the time.
Beverly was a classy lady, perhaps another characteristic of her Southern upbringing. You could count on one hand the number of curse words she is known to have uttered publicly. She was a diplomat; she suffered fools reluctantly but gently. Anniversaries and birthdays were always met with cards, calls, and thoughtfully selected gifts. The trappings of each holiday season were maintained assiduously, no matter how busy she was or how bad she was feeling.
Though Beverly would not have approved, no reflection of her life can be complete without acknowledging that she had periods of illness over the past few years. Though her mind and wit remained sharp, these physical challenges slowed her down and prevented her from doing all that she hoped to do. However, even during the difficult times, Beverly maintained a positive outlook and served as a source of support for others. Our family cannot begin to recognize all of the kind words and acts that comforted her when she was in need. We would like to give a special thanks for the wonderful care provided by the dialysis staff at MaineGeneral Medical Center when it was needed.
Beverly is survived by her loving husband Tom, her favorite children John, Page, and Paul, daughter-in-law Beth Daggett, sister-in-law Stephanie Daggett Nichols, nephew Danny Nichols, cousins Marilyn Simmons, Peter and Elaine Simoneau, Cyndie Banks, Janice Pratt, aunt Evelyn Banks, grandsons Charlie and Henry Daggett, numerous other cousins, and many, many close friends.
A funeral service will be held at Green Street United Methodist Church in Augusta on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. and a celebration of Beverly's life will be held at the Augusta Civic Center, North Wing on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Beverly's ashes will be interred with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery upon his passing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an organization that mattered deeply to her: Crisis and Counseling Centers, 10 Caldwell Road Augusta, ME 04330.
Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home and Cremation Service, One Church St., Augusta where condolences, memories and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com