Claire died on Sunday after a short battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family for her final moments. The youngest of three children, she was born on November 8, 1933 to Joseph and Clara Dowd.
After a storied tenure at Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union, she spent her retirement days on the Castleton School Board and working with the Castleton Planning Commission. She created decades-long friendships and community relationships, many of which found her relaxing on Friday nights at the Dog.
She hasn’t lived in Brooklyn since they owned the Dodgers, but she remained a steadfast Brooklynite at heart long after she left the tenements in her rear view – resolute, resilient, scrappy. Claire was not the warm and fuzzy type. One did not go to her to be coddled. Those that knew her best, though, knew her to be that source of constancy, of fortitude, of honesty. She was the foundation, the rest of us merely the walls filled with the pictures of a life lived diligently and earnestly. Even writing this, her family can hear the sass-lined displeasure because Claire didn’t do showy.
Claire was fervently private, but ever the nosy neighbor, she had her finger on the pulse of the goings-on, no matter where she lived: her Brooklyn block, her beloved Vermont home, or her winter getaway in Lakeland. She was a woman of plentiful contradictions; she was also a woman of generous spirit and a consistent stream of sarcastic wit.
Pre-deceased by her husband of nearly 50 years, Bill Testerman, she is now survived by her three children: Laura (Bill Hahn), Bill (Debbie), and Steven (Jen); four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and her cherished gaggle of bridge ladies and numerous friends accumulated over a life well-lived.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Lakeland Funeral Home on Friday November 20, 2020 from 4-6 PM.
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