On March 3, 2017, our sweet and beloved Claire, departed gracefully from her time here on Earth, and joined the angels where she has always belonged. With new wings, her journey to heaven was a peaceful one, and loved ones were there to greet her with open arms. She had 81 years of a beautiful life.
It was August 8, 1935, when Claire I. (Hood) Thomas came into this world, the baby girl born to Roy E. Hood and Clara (Roy) Hood, and she was the youngest of three children. Many tales were told of her younger years, and often included a great deal of life lessons, humility and reasons to be grateful. One can only imagine that a young Claire, was merely sprouting into the wonderful person she’d one day become, as she always found the silver lining in everything around her.
On May 23, 1953, she married her sweetheart, Harold Thomas. Upon returning from the Korean War he made her his bride. Together they welcomed three children into the world, and after some of the stories we’ve heard, she deserves the shiniest of golden thrones to sit upon!
Over the years, Claire kept herself busy with her kind spirit, and the willing nature to serve and help others. She was devoted to her entire family. She was also devoted to her T.O.P.S Chapter #57, and spent every Tuesday there night for decades. When she wasn’t busy loving and doting on others, she was employed at Converse Rubber Company, Bass Shoe, Shoe Tree, GAMM, Philbrook Farm Inn, and in her later years, Androscoggin Valley Home Care. The woman never stopped for a minute.
In April, of 2010, she sadly said goodbye to her husband, Harold of nearly 60 years. She is survived by her brother, Rudolph “Rudy” Hood, her son, Dennis Thomas, and daughter Sherry (Thomas) Fontaine and her husband Leo from Berlin. Her grandchildren Penny Fontaine and partner Robert Poulin of Gorham, Christy Fontaine and partner Steven Doucette of Bethel, Maine, Amanda (Thomas) Reed of Berlin, and Jason Thomas and his partner Danielle Coy of Berlin. She has eight great-grandchildren, Holly Switser and husband Jesse West Burke, Vt., Hannah Fontaine, Justin Reed, Joey Reed, Ava Doucette, Livia Doucette, Matthew Doucette, and Ryder Thomas, and two great-great grandchildren, Jacob and Jaxson Switser. She is predeceased by her brother Robert Hood, and a son Harold (Bubsy)Thomas Jr.
Here’s what we’d really love the whole world to know about Claire, and a few things to take away after you read this short tribute to one heck of an amazing woman: To live simply, be grateful, be kind, be yourself, love, love yourself, be carefree, have fun, laugh, cry, share a smile, sing off key, help one another, don’t ask questions, and go with the flow. Don’t let the small things get to you, drink your coffee black, and work hard.
Also, you don’t have to have be dripping with jewels, shiny rings or expensive things to be absolutely beautiful. Having a fancy Ivy League degree, doesn’t make you more of a person, than this young lady who dropped out of school in the tenth grade. Nor do you have to have the finest designer clothes, or fast cars. She was more of your yard sale, apple picking, Sunday drive kind of gal. Having a good perm, a few dollars in your pocket, family and food on the table was most important. Singing “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”, while bathing us as little kids will never be forgotten. Her extremely generous and giving spirit was impeccable, her kindness was grand, her love was as deep as each of her wrinkles. She embraced life. She was beautiful inside and out, and found happiness in being content with the things she had right where her roots were planted. There was never a want for greater things, she was happy with what life had provided for her, a true humble matriarch. Her ability to mispronounce most words in the English language was always a family highlight, and she’d be the first to laugh right along with us. Most likely followed by an obscenity, and that’s just how she rolled. Even if you were not related to Claire, you were family to her. She didn’t have a judgmental bone in her body, and treated each human with utmost respect and dignity. She always had room at her table for one more. Being simply, simple and humble was her mantra. Take our advice: Be like Claire.
In the last five plus years, Claire has been living with a progressive and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She fought like a true and courageous champ, and made us laugh, made us cry, and most of all touched the hearts of many. She was a resident at Coos County Nursing Home for the past two years. Where she made even more friends, and touched the hearts of many more. We have slowly watched the amazing, fun, spunky, full of life person slip into the shadow of who she once was. However, Claire was a spitfire, and a true force to be reckoned with. She didn’t give up easily.
It’s our honor to you: Claire, Mom, Grammy, Mimi2, to walk softly until your heart’s content, and let your gentle spirit be free of all that held you back here on Earth. Until we see your sweet smiling face again, just know that you are loved beyond words.
Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at 11 a.m., at the Bryant Funeral Home, 180 Hillside Ave., Berlin. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday morning from 9 to 11 a.m., prior to the service. Interment will be in the Russian City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make a kind donations to: Coos County Nursing Home Activities Fund, PO Box 416, Berlin, NH, 03570. Online guestbook at www.bryantfuneralhome.net.