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Published: Tuesday, 7/15/2014

Sandra Clark [1959-2014]; Symphony horn player wrote book

Sandra Clark Sandra Clark

Sandra Clark, 54, principal horn player for the Toledo Symphony and supporter of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, died of brain cancer Saturday in her West Toledo home.

Ms. Clark, who joined the Toledo Symphony in 1990 as a French horn player, retired after her last performance with the orchestra in May, and went into the hospital three days later.

“She was able to play through the entire season. It was quite astounding because her health was deteriorating,” daughter Monica Clark said.

Ms. Clark, who was transgender, was born Stewart D. Clark on Oct. 30, 1959. She grew up in San Jose, and graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 1982.

For two years, she worked in sales before beginning studies at Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

“Music was a calling for her and the only thing that made her happy,” Monica Clark said.

While at Cincinnati, she met Kathy Widlar, also a French horn player. They married Oct. 30, 1988.

It was after their divorce in 2001 that Ms. Clark made the decision to transition to a woman and underwent surgical procedures, her daughter said.

She wrote a book on her experience about coming out as a transgender called Running to Normal, which was published in 2004.

Through the years, Ms. Clark composed and gave recitals and won the Fischoff National Chamber Music competition.

In addition to her orchestra performances, she organized the symphony’s out-of-town concerts, managed ticket sales, and handled advertising for programs.

Surviving are daughters, Monica and Maria Clark, and sister, Gina Lounds.

Visitation is 1-3 p.m. Thursday in Monroe Street United Methodist Church, followed by a memorial service. Coyle Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Symphony Orchestra or Toledo Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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