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Claire Martha Menard
July 29, 1931 ~ October 15, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Claire Martha (Laferte) Menard, 92, passed away on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at her home on Prairie Creek Reservoir in Selma, Indiana. Claire was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Donald O. Menard, who died at the age of 90 on June 23, 2022. Claire was surrounded and comforted by members of her loving family as she passed, including her daughter Janice Ratliff, husband John Mark Ratliff, son Kevin Menard, wife Laurie Menard, granddaughter Laura Brown, husband John Brown, and great-granddaughter Madeline Cline, husband Brandon Cline. Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Claire was the child of the late Arthur Laferte and Laura (Gauvin) Laferte. Her only sibling Orrin Laferte died in 2016.
Claire lived much of her life in Pascoag, a village in Burrillville, Rhode Island, where she lived as a child and where she and Donald met. They were married November 6, 1954 at St. Joseph’s Church, in Pascoag. Claire and Donald lived in Germany when Don was drafted into the US Army in 1955, and in Pittsfield, Massachusetts after the Army. They returned to Pascoag in 1958 when Donald became a reporter for the Woonsocket Call. In Pascoag they raised their six children and were active members of St. Joseph’s Church, the volunteer fire department, and a close community that included a very large extended family and many friends. Claire worked at the Pascoag Fire District and at Industrial National Bank before devoting full-time to the family, and then for the Town of Burrillville as assistant to the Town Manager once her children were grown.
After retirement, Claire and Donald lived part time in Pascoag with their son Kevin and his wife Laurie on Pascoag Reservoir, part time in Dunedin Florida close to son Neil and his wife Susan, as well as Claire’s brother Orrin and his wife Karen. Claire and Donald moved to Selma, Indiana, in 2007 and lived the rest of their lives on Prairie Creek Reservoir in the home of daughter Janice Ratliff and husband Mark Ratliff. They made new friends in Muncie, including Steve and Kristen Herbst, Jeff and Cathy Crabtree, Barbara Bogue and Michael Wells. Most important of all, Claire and Donald were surrounded by family every single day. In 2010, Claire was proud and delighted to attend granddaughter Laura’s wedding to John Brown of Carmel, IN, and the more recent wedding of great-granddaughter Madeline to Brandon Cline of Selma, IN.
Claire and Donald traveled frequently in retirement, spending time with each of their children and visiting relatives and friends. Their memorable vacations included a stay in Rome, Italy; a cruise to Alaska; and several tours of the western U.S., including visits to many national parks. During her final year, Claire enjoyed good health and spent her 92nd birthday in Dunedin Florida celebrating the 80th birthday of her sister-in-law Karen Laferte. Claire’s presence was a surprise to Karen, and Claire reveled in the love and attention bestowed by Karen, niece Kimberly and her husband Stephen Moore, niece Heather and husband David Kuczer, and their children. Claire’s final trip was just six weeks before her death when she flew to Baltimore to attend the wedding of grandchild Lila Menard and Christopher Goode.
Claire is survived by daughter Janice and Mark Ratliff of Selma Indiana; son Donald Menard and Jill of Andover, NJ; son Kevin Menard and Laurie Menard of Orlando, FL; son Andrew Menard and Carol Heston of Baltimore, MD; daughter Martha Menard of Andover, NJ; and son Neil Menard and Susan Menard of Winter Park, FL. Claire is also survived by sister-in-law Karen Laferte of Dunedin, FL, sister-in-law Frances Menard of Deerfield, NH, Barbara Menard of Harrisville, RI, and brother-in-law Raymond (Pete) Lapierre of Harrisville, RI. Claire loved all of her 13 grandchildren (and their spouses) and 11 great-grandchildren, and her many, many nieces and nephews, with all of their families, scattered across our
As per her wishes, Claire was cremated and a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Lawrence Church in Muncie at a later date.