Cornelia Clinton, 70, Had Sunny Disposition on Life

Cornelia Huntington Putnam Clinton died on April 1 while undergoing treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for circulatory problems. She was 70.

A resident at various times of Arivaca, Ariz. and Cooperstown, N.Y., she returned several years ago to Martha's Vineyard, the community where she had spent much of her life and had many lifelong friends.

Connie Clinton, called Rosebud by her many friends, was known for her sunny disposition and energetic approach to life. It was an attitude she maintained even as her body failed, and it earned her the affection of the nurses and doctors who knew and cared for her.

"She was always happy, always on the go," said Louise Robinson, a friend from the days when both women attended what was then the Tisbury High School. "Everybody liked doing things with her."

Mrs. Clinton was born on Oct. 8, 1933 in Mt. Kisco, New York. She was the daughter of Island musician and artist Wilfred (Willie) Huntington and Julia (Putnam) Huntington of Chilmark. Her parents divorced shortly after she was born. She was adopted and raised by her grandfather, Dr. C. R. L. Putnam of New York and Chilmark.

After graduating from the Tisbury School, she went to Cooperstown, N.Y. to attend the Knox Finishing School where she met Donald Clinton, a local man and skilled woodworker who would become her husband. Following their marriage she attended nursing school at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, where she later worked as a nurse.

The couple spent summers on the Vineyard. In the mid 60s, they and their three children moved to the Island year-round. For many years, Mrs. Clinton worked as a nurse at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, and as a private duty nurse.

Later, no longer married, she traveled among the three communities she would consider her shared homes until returning to the Vineyard, where she enjoyed reading and spending time with old and new friends at the Portuguese American Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

She is survived by her three children: D. Stephen Clinton of Arivaca, Ariz., Norma J. Sigelman of Tisbury, and Stuart Clinton; half brothers Peter Huntington of West Tisbury and Simon Huntington of N.H.; and numerous cousins and grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Donations in her memory may be made to the Holy Ghost Association, PO Box 2203, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.