Candles 01

Michele Clarke

May 11, 2022


Michele was born in Washington, DC in 1947, the only child of Reginald and Antoinette Ramsey. Michele attended grade school at Sacred Heart and Academy of Notre Dame high school here in DC.

Michele received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969 from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a master’s degree in history in 1972 from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and was pursuing her doctorate degree at Cornell in ancient and medieval history when she met Paul. Michele briefly taught history for one year at San Jose University in California, returned to Ithaca to complete her studies, but chose to marry Paul and move to Houston, Texas before submitting her dissertation.

A dedicated public servant, Michele started working for U.S. House of Representatives Thomas Phillip “Tip” O’Neill Jr. on Capitol Hill in 1965 and throughout his career as he rose to House Majority Whip, and House Majority Leader. When Michele and Paul moved to Houston, Texas she worked for Representative Mickey Leland in the Texas State House and U.S. Congress House of Representatives. When Michele, Paul and sons moved back to Washington, D.C. to be close to grandparents, she worked again for Tip O’Neill as Speaker of the House until his retirement. Afterwards, Michele worked at the Department of the Treasury, followed by the Department of Health and Human Services, and then the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1989 until her own retirement in 2008.

Michele Clarke was called into God’s loving care at the Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. She transitioned just as she wished, surrounded by family and friends.



 by Merrit Malloy


“When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.


And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.


I want to leave you something,

Something better

Than words

Or sounds.


Look for me

In the people I’ve known

Or loved,

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on in your eyes

And not your mind.


You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands,

By letting bodies touch bodies,

And by letting go

Of children

That need to be free.


Love doesn’t die,

People do.

So, when all that’s left of me

Is love,

Give me away.”


In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored if those who are inspired could make a donation to any charity that helps the people or animals, particularly the poor and downtrodden would be most appreciative. Suggestions include Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) | Reducing Poverty in America  ( or ASPCA | American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( Another suggestion is to plant a tree to help the environment and climate change. Of course, sympathy cards or letters would be most welcome.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michele Clarke, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Michele

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June 1, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Augustine Catholic Church
15th & V Streets N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Mass of Christian Burial
June 1, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Augustine Catholic Church
15th & V Streets N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Interment following Mass of Christian Burial
June 1, 2022

Mount Olivet Cemetery
1300 Bladensburg Road, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002

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