Claire Frances Spear died after a very brief illness at Massachusetts General Hospital on April 19. She was 90.
Claire was born on Martha’s Vineyard on April 4, 1924 in Oak Bluffs, the daughter of Arthur West and Mary (May) (Anderson) West. As a military wife she moved often, living in Skowhegan, Maine; Lynn, Mass.; Santa Ana, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Yorktown, Va.; Bowie, Md., and Winthrop, Mass. Throughout her travels, she always considered Martha’s Vineyard her home. Claire returned to the Island home in the 1970s.
She celebrated her 90th birthday on Friday, April 4, at the Edgartown Council on Aging (Anchors) among many friends, and then again on Saturday at a party of more than 30 of her friends and family members. Afterward, she spoke often about the excitement of her birthday celebration until the day she became ill.
Claire’s husband Capt. Jasper Spear and her son Robert Spear predeceased her. Three of her children, Stephen of Bellingham, Wash., Karin Commette of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and William of New London, N.H., and a large assembly of family and friends survive her. She was the mother of four, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of eight.
Claire lived in her home until her death, with frequent visits from helper and friend Nannette Lynch. Claire, or Nana as all affectionately knew her, was bright, spirited and independent. Her smile would light up her face and those around her. She will be forever in our hearts.
A graveside memorial is planned for family and friends on Saturday, June 21, at noon at the Edgartown Old Westside Cemetery. Guests are invited to the family home in Edgartown following the interment.
Donations may be made in her memory to The Friends of the Edgartown Council on Aging, P.O. Box 1295, Edgartown, MA 02539 or the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539.