Kenyon Remembers Margaret Clor

Marget Hyink Clor, longtime Gambier resident, immersed herself in the community through volunteer work.


Margaret Hyink Clor, widow of longtime Kenyon political science professor Harry M. Clor (1929-2018), died on Saturday, June 4, 2022. A resident of Gambier for more than 55 years, she was 84.

Born on June 9, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois, Margaret met Clor when she audited a course he was teaching at the University of Chicago. When she was no longer his student, Clor asked her out on a date. The two married soon after and moved to Gambier when he accepted a position at the College in 1965.

“Margaret was among the group of Gambier mothers welcoming me and my older daughter into the mother-child playgroup when we moved to the village,” recalled Barbara Wortman, a friend of many years and the widow of Professor of History Roy Wortman, who passed away in 2017. “Our daughters grew up together, our families have been friends for fifty-one years, and we celebrated several holidays together through the years. Always friendly, always cheerful, always involved in the Knox County community, Margaret was a treasure for us all.”

Active in a number of local activities, Clor was familiar to many Gambier residents not only as a neighbor but also for her regular service as an election worker for the village. In addition, she took on the demanding role of volunteer at the New Directions Domestic Abuse Shelter and Rape Crisis Center in Mount Vernon.

“Margaret always welcomed Harry’s awe-struck students into their home with enthusiasm and generous hospitality,” remembered Judy Hoffman ’73. “I greatly admired her calm temperament and positive approach to daily living, which made her a wonderful wife and mother. It seemed there was no problem she couldn't solve by just taking a step back to pause and figure it out.”

 “Margaret had an astounding memory, and even in her final days she reminisced about Kenyon alumni from decades past,” Hoffman added. “She was a dear friend, and I will miss her greatly.”

 “Margaret was a fine person who was wholly devoted to her family but also did valuable community work, in particular for the local shelter for abused women,” observed Professor of Political Science Fred Baumann, a longtime colleague of Harry. “Harry’s health was never great, and with advancing age, it was Margaret on whom he depended. She bore up cheerfully and positively through thick and thin.”

As another of Harry’s colleagues, Professor Emeritus of Political Science Kirk Emmert, noted, “Harry praised Margaret for being the source of his fun, including dancing — Harry did the waltz no matter what the music — and going to parties and the Ohio Light Opera. She helped keep Harry grounded in everyday concerns and contributed to his advocacy of women’s rights before that became a popular cause. A non-judgmental person, Margaret took delight in everyday matters that others might take for granted. She was very loyal to Harry, lovingly attending to him in his declining years.”

 Clor continued to live in their Allen Drive home after Harry’s death. She suffered a fall there, followed by hospitalization at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus where she was treated for spinal issues. After a brief time in a rehabilitation facility, she moved to Kobacker House, a hospice in Columbus.

She is survived by two daughters, Kate Portzline and Laura Clor; two sons-in-law, Aaron Portzline and Ben Davidson; a granddaughter, Grace Portzline; and two sisters, Toni Knight and Dori Palm.

Friends will be received on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Snyder Funeral Home’s Lasater Chapel, located at 11337 Upper Gilchrist Road in Mount Vernon. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Directions Domestic Abuse Shelter and Rape Crisis Center, Box 453, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 43050, or to Kobacker House, 800 McConnell Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43214.