Linda M. Clark, undated photo
The Chicago Chapter of the American S tatistical Association has lost one of its longest-term and most loyal members. Linda Marie Clark died on May 4, about a month shy of her 80th birthday. She was an officer or director for nearly half a century, starting in the early Seventies and retiring in 2015. She served as president in 1972-73, the second woman in the chapter's history to do so. The chapter was founded in 1928. In 1991, she won the Chicago Chapter's first service award and in 1994 became a chapter fellow, one of only five statisticians ever to receive this honor.
She will be remembered for many accomplishments, but one of the most meaningful is her early promotion of what has morphed into the Harry V. Roberts Statistical Advocate of the Year Award, an international prize granted since 2015 by the Chicago Chapter and the National ASA.
Another of Linda's signal achievements was her organizing of several so-called StatFairs before statistical software was readily available on the web. Dozens of providers of such software descended on Chicago to ply their wares in halls rented by the chapter for the purpose.
Linda held a BS from the University of Michigan (1962) and an MBA from the University of Chicago (1969). Between her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she served as an analyst at the Biological Sciences Computation Center of Billings Hospital at the U of C and later as director of mathematics and statistical services at Armour & Co. of Chicago.
Since 1969 Linda provided help with computer systems as well as mathematical and statistical services under the aegis of LMC Consulting Co.
Linda's many professional pursuits included serving as delegate to the first White House Conference on Small Business under President Jimmy Carter (1980); member of the Illinois Small Business Delegation to China (1986); member of the board of governors of International House, University of Chicago, (1976-88); member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; director, women's group of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry (1974-79); director and vice-president of state issues at the Indiana Business Association (1982-84); chapter president of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (1981-83); and member of Alpha Chi Omega.
In June 2015, to mark Linda's retirement from the board of the Chicago Chapter, she was honored with a framed proclamation. The text is as follows: "Linda M. Clark has provided boundless benefit to the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association by serving on its board of directors for nearly half a century. She has been named a Fellow of the Chicago Chapter and has received the Chapter Recognition Award from the Council of Chapters. The Chicago Chapter honors and thanks her for her leadership, devotion, scholarship, business acumen, generosity, kindness and love of statistics."
Memorial services were held in Flossmoor on May 25. Representing the chapter were current and former board members Tony Babinec, Gerry Funk, Borko Jovanovic and Kathy Morrissey. Four family members from Sweden were also in attendance and sang in Swedish to honor her.
I fondly remember her calling herself Dino, obviously short for Dinosaur. She was a major factor in the organization and a wonderful colleague. She will be sorely missed.