Jacqueline Clemens, nurse practitioner and dog companion
Jacqueline Mary Clemens passed away in Spokane Valley on Sunday morning, Nov. 4, after fighting brain cancer for four years. It was two days before her 71st birthday.
She was born Jacqueline Dorothy Bacon on November 6, 1941 in Morristown, New Jersey, to Harold and Victoria Bacon. She grew up in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey with her brothers Tony and Roger. The kids went often to Moss Lake Camp near Big Moose, New York, where Jackie learned to love horse riding and the outdoors. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she met Herbert Clemens through the Newman Center. They married May 21, 1966 and together joined the Peace Corps to work in Chile. They returned to live in Princeton, New Jersey and New York City, and had two sons before divorcing in 1976.
Jackie raised her boys in Salt Lake City, Utah while working multiple jobs and putting herself through school part time. She became first a Registered Nurse and then a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Utah. Jackie worked for years at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Salt Lake before moving to Great Falls, Montana to work for eight years in the oncology practice of Dr. Grant Harrer. After brief periods doing bone marrow transplants for children in Lexington, Kentucky and family practice in Wolf Point, Montana, she settled in Whitefish, Montana in 1993 as a family practitioner and partner in the Columbia Falls Professional Center. From there she retired to Spokane in 2007.
Jackie passionately loved her Shetland Sheepdogs. She was at her happiest competing with them in agility, rally, obedience, and tracking trials for the last two decades all over North America. She was a forceful advocate for positive training methods-shaping dogs' behavior exclusively with rewards and no punishment. The names of her "wonderdoggies" were Bonnie, Nickles, Rosey, Brio, Raisin, Luke, Crispy, and Geordie. Three of them won champion titles in agility or obedience, the highest honor for many years of top performance. For years her every email ended with "a dog is a window in your heart." Crispy and Geordie were curled up at her side when she passed.
She also loved speaking Spanish, listening to A Prairie Home Companion, camping, and teaching-especially dog training methods.
She is survived by her two sons-Benjamin Clemens of Berkeley, California and Michael Clemens of Washington, DC-and her brothers Tony Bacon of Libby, Montana, and James Roger Bacon of Manchester, Massachusetts. She has a beautiful granddaughter, Sarah.
There will be a memorial gathering to tell stories about Jackie this Saturday November 10th at 10:00am in the Hazen & Jaeger chapel, 1306 North Pines Road, Spokane Valley. There will be a smaller, separate event the previous evening: a Catholic mass in Jackie's honor, Friday November 9th, at 7:00pm by Father Roy Floch at St. Paschal's Church, 2521 North Park Road, Spokane Valley. Jackie's remains will rest at St. Joseph cemetery in Spokane Valley.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. (www.spokanimal.org).