Marjorie Clarkson, 88, Accomplished artist, 'picture lady'

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Marjorie Ann Clarkson, 88, died on Oct. 27, 2011. Born and raised in Sheboygan, Wis., she attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, in her early years she gained fame as "The Enzo Jel Girl," appearing on the carton of Enzo Jel products.

She moved to Oak Park with her mother in 1945 and met James W. Clarkson. He told her on their first date that he was going to marry her, and he did — on Aug. 3, 1946. Oak Park and primarily River Forest became their home, where they raised four children.

Mrs. Clarkson was very active in the community, including Infant Welfare, PTA, Cub Scouts, Little League, and the River Forest Tennis Club. She was an accomplished artist and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, which led to her involvement in community art fairs and the founding of the "picture lady" program at local elementary schools.

The couple followed their children to Fountain Hills, Ariz., which became their permanent home for the rest of their lives. Mrs. Clarkson was instrumental in the early years of the Fountain Hills Art Fair, became one of the first Welcome Wagon ladies in Fountain Hills and also volunteered for Meals on Wheels.

She was very active in the Presbyterian Church of Fountain Hills, as well as the local tennis club.

Family and friends describe her life as filled with giving, always with a smile.

Marge Clarkson is survived by her four children, James W. (Virginia) Clarkson II, William W. (Pam) Clarkson, Helen E. "Hallie" (George) Dierken and John H. (Lynn) Clarkson; her seven grandchildren, J.W., Matt, Jennifer, Will, Lindsay, Brianna, and Jennifer; and five great-grandchildren, Tyler, Brooke, Carson, Luke, and Gabrielle.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Rose Resch, and her husband, Jim.

Memorial contributions on her behalf may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 or the Alzheimer's Association at

A private service was held on Nov. 5.

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