Lucille Clark


Lucille Clark was born in Canton, Illinois, the daughter of William A. and Cora Coleman, on March 25, 1932, and the 9th of 13 children. Her mother was a Virginian born Christian woman, her father, a Mississippi born educated farmer. All of the children graduated from Canton High School. After school and on weekends, she worked as a domestic and had babysitting jobs to earn money for her education and was able to earn enough money to pay for her 3-year Nursing Courses.

She was the first woman of color to enter and graduate from Graham Hospital School of Nursing. There was a stipulation attached, that if she didn't make it, no other women of color would follow. The night she graduated, she volunteered to work the 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. shift. As it turned out, she delivered a baby. The doctor didn't make it from home that night. During her course of training, she had affiliations with Cook County Hospital of Chicago on 2 occasions. The Mendota State Hospital of Madison, Wisconsin. She took a post-graduate course in Obstetrics at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital before moving to Champaign. She had made arrangements to work at Carle Hospital prior to post-graduate completion. Her starting date at Carle was July 21, 1955.

She has worked full-time at Carle, attended many seminars, spoke at medical conventions, served as Community Consultant during the organization phase of Parkland College's School of Nursing and has held Head Nurse and Management positions for 19 ½ years. Her true love is "hands-on" patient care. Last year she received her 45 Years of Service Plaque from Carle Hospital. As of this day, she is the longest tenured employee at Carle.

On July 10, 1955, she married Jesse D. Clark, Jr., a University of Illinois Policeman and to this union were born 2 children, a son, Gregory Allen and a daughter, Cara Lynn. She is currently 90 years old and resides in Urbana.