- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 21, 2005

Joanne Winslow Clark, an ophthalmologist in the District for more than 30 years, died May 3 of complications from multiple myeloma at the University of Arkansas Hospital Center in Little Rock. She was 70.

Dr. Clark was born Dec. 29, 1934, in Keokuk, Iowa, and spent much of her early life moving around the country and Europe with her father, an Army chaplain.

A piano prodigy, she was awarded an associate degree in art from the George Washington University Columbian College and Graduate School in 1953. She earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from GW’s Columbian College and Graduate School in June 1954 at age 19.

She was the only woman in her graduating class at the University of Maryland’s medical school in 1958. She performed her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital before practicing ophthalmology for more than three decades in the District.

In 1955, Dr. Clark married Dr. Straty H. Economon. Before divorcing in 1981, they had two children — Harry Economon, who died in a 1986 motorcycle accident, and Paul D. Economon, a lawyer in the D.C. area.

In 1984, on her 50th birthday, Dr. Clark married Horace “Chuck” Clark, a local teacher and businessman.

Dr. Clark continued her private practice during the 1980s at her downtown office and the Washington Hospital Center, where she was one of the early providers of laser eye surgery.

She also helped establish and operate the low-vision program at the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.

Her outreach efforts won her three prestigious awards — the Andrew Woods Memorial Award from the D.C. Mayor’s Committee on Handicapped Individuals in 1987, the WUSA-TV (Channel 9) “One and Only” Award for Community Service in 1990, and a Washingtonian of the Year award in 1990 from Washingtonian magazine.

In October 1990, Dr. Clark was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects plasma cells. She retired to battle the disease.

During her remissions, Dr. Clark was able to enjoy her retirement by touring the Western United States and settling on Hawaii’s Big Island.

She is survived by her husband, Chuck Clark of Kailua Kona, Hawaii; son Paul Economon of Clifton, Va.; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Dzermejko of Tennessee; a daughter-in-law, Kimberley; and two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Myeloma Institute and designated for the Dr. Barlogie Endowed Chair for Myeloma Research, No. 776, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205, or the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, 1120 20th St. NW, Suite 750 South, Washington, DC 20036 (Attn: Teresa Weathington).

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