Claire Corrigan (French)
Burlington - On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, with her loving family by her side, Claire Irene Corrigan was released from her earthly body to be welcomed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Claire was born at home in Winooski on May 7, 1926 to her parents, Harold and Vivian (Croteau) French. Weighing only one and one half pounds, she was not expected to live through the night. With spunk, strength and determination that sustained her throughout her life, and with the loving care which she received from her parents and adoring grandparents, Dolphis and Delina Croteau, she not only survived, but thrived and lived to be 91 years of age.
On September 14, 1946, Claire married Archie D. Corrigan in St. Stephen's Church in Winooski. They resided in Winooski while raising their daughters, Sandra Lee and Judith Ann. Claire and Archie were married for 59 years, until Archie's death in 2005.
Claire attended schools in Burlington. She was employed at many different businesses throughout the years including the American Woolen Mill, Forest Hills Factory Outlet, Mary Fletcher Hospital, Gaynes Department Store and the University of Vermont. Wherever she worked she gained the respect and gratitude of her employers and fellow employees due to her dependability, initiative and her ability to work well with others. Claire was very proud of her work ethic.
The highlights of Claire's life were the times spent with family. She loved the holidays, especially Thanksgiving when she would prepare a meal fit for royalty; although, she always worried about the way her gravy would turn out. She needn't have been concerned because it was always perfect! She very much enjoyed attending her grandchildren's activities, reading to them and playing cards, bingo and board games. Other activities she enjoyed were masses at St. Joseph's Church and St. Anne's Shrine, dancing (especially the jitterbug), bowling, crocheting, picnics at the Sand Bar and eating the produce from Archie's garden----especially his tomatoes and raspberries.
Claire was never one to focus on herself. Her goal was to make everyone comfortable and to feel welcome in her presence. She will be remembered for her unconditional love, strength, grace, smile, warmth, compliments and positive attitude.
She always carried with her the wonderful memories that were made with very special friends on Sandra Circle. Everyone should be as lucky as she and Archie were to live in such a warm and loving neighborhood. As her health declined Claire moved to Heineberg Senior Housing where she lived for 10 years with the help of family and staff from HSH, along with VNA staff. Dr. Richard Pinckney and his amazing team were instrumental in keeping Claire in her home for as long as possible. When it was decided that she could no longer safely stay in her home, arrangements were made to transfer her to Starr Farm Nursing Center where she received amazing care from the angels who work there, along with the sweet staff from Bayada Hospice. To all of the very special care givers from each of these facilities Claire's grateful family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We would like to give Claire's granddaughter, Melissa Clark, a huge "thank you" for the hundreds of hours you lovingly spent with your Gram, making her laugh and feeling very loved. God bless you all.
Claire was predeceased by her parents, husband Archie, brothers Harold (Bud), Rodney, William, Thomas, and John P. French; brothers-in-law Theodore Bissonnette and Ronald McClain; sisters-in-law Cecile Bissonnette, Marion Corrigan, Sarah Whitehouse, Edith French and Gloria French; nieces Jane Schuster and Mary Siple; a very special aunt and best friend Thelma Barcomb Bushey; and her great nephew, Joshua Pallotta.
Claire is survived by her two daughters, Sandra (Charles….who Claire always introduced as "my very best friend") Boivin, and Judith (Larry) Blanchard. Her granddaughters Melissa (David) Clark and their children Alysha, Erina and Brandon Clark, along with her adorable great-great grandson Bentley Austin Clark; Kristin Anderson and fiance' Shane Locke and their children Taryn, Camryn, Ryan Anderson and Makayla and Samantha Locke; Sherri (Lowell) Bertrand and daughter, Sierra; step grandchildren Todd Blanchard and family, Breck Blanchard-Babcock and family, and Erin Cocuzzo and family. Other survivors include her sister, Patricia McClain; sister-in-law Jeannette French and ex-sister-in-law, Nancy Breiner; along with several cousins, nieces and nephews, including those who took the time to visit or call frequently; Mark (Debby) Bissonnette, Joan Bissonnette, Jo Ann (Richard) Choiniere, and Valerie (Greg) Pallotta.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 2nd at 10 AM at St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral on 20 Allen St. in Burlington. Burial will take place in Resurrection Park Cemetery in So. Burlington. A reception at St. Joseph's will follow the burial. Respecting Claire's wishes, there will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, Claire's family asks that you share a smile and/or a hug as often as possible. We may never know how much showing that we care about someone may help to get them through another day. If you are inclined to make a donation in Claire's name, please consider one of the following:
Josh Pallotta Fund, PO Box 542, Colchester, VT 05446 (help for Veterans with PTSD)
Alzheimer's Association, 300 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 130, Williston, VT 05495