Niagara Gazette

May 7, 2013

Elizabeth Clarke Tower

Niagara Gazette


Elizabeth Clarke (Liz) Tower of East Aurora, NY, died on May 2, 2013 at the age of 93. She was the daughter of the late Emma Vought Clarke and Gilmore David Clarke, dean of Cornell University's College of Architecture, and sister to Edward Perry Clarke and Doris Clarke Bond. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Peter Tower, who until his retirement, was the President of C.J. Tower and Sons; her two daughters, Mollie Tower Byrnes and husband, John Byrnes; and Cynthia Tower Doyle and husband, Robert Doyle; four grandchildren, Peter Tower Byrnes and wife, Valerie Byrnes; Joshua Clarke Byrnes, Mollie McMillen Doyle and husband, Thomas Bena; and Erin Tower Doyle; and one great-granddaughter, Emma Elizabeth Bena.
Liz was born in Mt. Vernon, NY, raised in Pelham, NY and attended Cornell University where she majored in English, took several drawing courses and where Liz and Peter met. She and Peter were married in August of 1942 in Great Barrington, MA and later moved to Youngstown, NY, where she lived with her family for over 30 years. In 1972, Liz (as she was called by her friends and family) and Peter moved to Buffalo, NY and then to East Aurora, NY in 1988. In December 1990, she and her husband Peter co-founded and served as trustees of the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, a family foundation.
Over her lifetime, Liz put the creative side of her mind to good use. She was a voracious reader, avid gardener, and environmentalist, but most of all, Liz was an artist. Until she lost her sight, she made extraordinary paintings, collages, even jewelry fashioned out of found objects like bones and safety pins. Everything - from the extraordinary to the ordinary - informed her art. As an accomplished artist she was invited to participate in many shows in Western NY. Her work hangs in a number of museums and distinguished private collections.
Liz will be remembered for her zany sense of humor, her creativity, and her ability to see the potential of plants, rocks, birds, squirrels (any animal really), but most especially, people.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 1st at Burchfield Penney Art Center at 1:00 PM. Donations in Liz's memory may be made to the Burchfield Penney Art Center or to The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
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