Sunday 13 June 2021
Claire Evelyn (Randall) Curtis, 87, of Portsmouth RI, formerly of Fifth Ward in Newport, passed away peacefully at home on June 12, 2021, surrounded by her family.
Claire was born in Newport on July 20, 1933, to the late John J. and Claire E. Randall.
Claire was the beloved wife of the late Martin L. Curtis, to whom she was married for over 63 years. She graduated from St. Catherine’s High School in Newport as a Class of ’51 Promotion Major. She then got a scholarship to attend Salve Regina College, where she graduated in 1955. Upon graduation, she was offered a Fulbright scholarship to study abroad, which she would politely decline. saying that she was engaged and that she would be married in the coming year. Claire had an endless thirst for knowledge and would continue her relationship with Salve for most of her adult life. The culmination of her relationship with her alma mater came in 1995 when she received the Distinguished Alumni Award. This award recognizes outstanding and sustained commitment to the profession, community and family and is considered the highest award given to alumni of Salve Regina.
Claire’s philosophy of life and what drove her to get involved in the community after raising six children is that everyone has a responsibility to think of others! This credo has led to years of volunteering. She would establish the Neighborhood Friendly Visitor Program, where volunteers would visit homebound elderly and disabled people to chat, play cards, write letters, or anything that would help them interact with people. This eventually led her to a position in Child and Family Services as Director of Volunteers, a position she would hold for many years. After leaving SFC, she became a hospice volunteer, which she did until she finally decided it was time to spend more time with her retired husband.
Her Catholic faith also pushed her to get involved with young people in the community. Cited in 1982 by Bishop Gelineau of Providence for her “exceptional and dedicated commitment to Catholic education” in the diocese, she served as secretary and treasurer of the Newport County Regional School Board as well as secretary to the school principal for many years. many years. . Together with her husband, she devoted 12 years to “Search for Maturity” and won the “Spirit Alive Award” from the Regional Catholic Youth and Diocese Organization in 1981 for her enthusiastic promotion of the program. She and her husband would say it was a real privilege to work with all of the grown children who have participated in the program over those 12 years. She has also spent over 20 years teaching religious education in St. Augustine and St. Lucy parishes and has also served as a marriage preparation counselor.
In retirement, his thirst for knowledge never wavered. A voracious reader, she would start each day with her three sets of papers, then sit down and read her favorite book while having the political talk shows in the background. Until her last days, she was as aware of events as she had ever been and still had strong opinions about them. She also enjoyed walks with her husband, Friday night dinner at La Forge and, of course, long days at Gooseberry Beach, where she spent time with her children and grandchildren, as well as close friends.
Claire is survived by her children, Susan O’Connor (Kevin) of Portsmouth, David Curtis (Sandy) of Middletown, Stephen Curtis of Newport, Jeffery Curtis (Ginny) of Middletown and Martina Aldrich (Bruce) of Middletown. She also leaves her grandchildren Morgan, Taylor, Michael, Claire and Samantha, her brothers, Jerry Randall and Dick Randall, her sister-in-law Eula Curtis and her brother-in-law Alexander (Al) Curtis as well as several nieces and nephews. . She was predeceased by her older daughter Cathy, her brother Jack, her sister Cheryl, her brother-in-law Thomas (Tom) Curtis and her sister-in-law Agnes Curtis, Marion Randall and Rita Randall.
To our sister Martina, words cannot express how grateful we are for your love, dedication, compassion and support to our Mother over the past years. We just couldn’t have allowed her the dignity to leave this world like she did without you. We are eternally grateful for all you have done and hope you find peace and comfort knowing Mom is in a better place.
The family would also like to extend a huge thank you to Kathryn Cox and her daughter Sarah Brousseau, whose love and support from our mom has been invaluable and a great source of comfort to her and her family in her final days, as well. that the Hospice team that supported her and her family.
Visiting hours will be on Wednesday June 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport.
Her funeral will be on Thursday, June 17 at St Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown at a time to be announced.
Interment will follow at St. Columba Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Child & Family RI, 31 John Clarke Road, Middletown, RI 02842, or charity of your choice.