Mar. 11, 1944 – Jan.16, 2021
Claire left us quickly, from complications due to dementia. She will be sorely missed by her husband and soul mate John, her children (from her first marriage to Eric Dowey), Joanne, Lesley and Andrew, and her grandchildren Grace and Lucy. She will also be greatly missed by her brothers Tom (in Northern Ireland) and David (in England), and by John’s children Peter and Kirsten, and grandchildren Alexandra and Maud.
Claire was born in Dublin, and was adopted by her ’Mum’ Nell Roulston and spent her early life in Bangor N.I. She was always sporty and was captain of her high school field hockey team., as well as being a great competitive swimmer and diver. Later she became a private secretary in Belfast, married Eric, and raised three children.
That marriage eventually failed, and by some chance of fate, Claire met John at her brother David’s place in Lymington, Hampshire in 1981. After a somewhat unusual courtship, mostly transatlantic, Claire moved to Canada, to Kitchener-Waterloo, as a 90 day bride. Claire and John were married in 1982, and spent a wonderful 39 years together. After John retired from the University of Waterloo, and the children had left home, they moved to the Midland area to be near the water and their sailboat.
Claire had many interests, one of them being badminton. Shortly after settling in Kitchener, she met other players, and they eventually took over the badminton side of the local Granite Club. Here she met her great friends Val Butler and Lyn Wright. Many tournaments were played, all over Ontario and even in Miami for the North American Masters. Many medals resulted! Tennis was another. One day she went to a meeting of the Midland Tennis club, and left the meeting as their secretary. Claire, Val, James Layter and Sheila Brown played many games together over the years.
Claire was very sociable, and liked nothing better than to have a group of friends over for dinner. The louder the party, the better. She was also interested in décor, and was forever changing things around to get it ‘just right’. As a keen reader, Claire belonged to two book clubs and John was kept busy putting up shelves to store the library. Together with Joan James she led the Pursuits group, a local women’s club, for many years. Claire and John were also active in the Midland Huronia Probus Club, where they made many friends. She was also a member of the Creative Writing group at Askennonia in Midland for many years. Music was another passion, mostly classical, but other genres as well. Claire and John regularly attended the KW Symphony, the Festival of the Sound, and the late lamented Colours of Music Festival in Barrie. A large collection of LP’s and CD’s was carefully catalogued by the highly organized Claire. As a keen gardener, the green space around her homes was always well looked after.
Love of sailing was one of the many things that brought Claire and John together. Many happy times were spent cruising Georgian Bay and the North Channel, not to mention the 1996 trip down the Intercoastal Waterway to Florida. Later land cruising in an RV took them to Newfoundland and also a circumnavigation of North America, Florida to San Diego and north to Victoria and back in the winter of 2007. Claire loved to travel, with trips to Greece, Cuba, and several to England with John to explore the crop circle phenomenon.
Claire’s last two years were marked by progressive dementia. Many thanks for the caring staff at Bayfield retirement home in Penetanguishene and at Kensington Gardens in Toronto, and particularly to her children Lesley, Andrew and Joanne who were by her side as essential care givers during their Mum’s last year and a half.
Farewell and bon voyage Claire, as you sail away.
Condolences and reminiscences can be sent to: www.cardinalfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/claire-hanson/