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Sister Claire (Claire Stephen) Spellman SND

1928 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Sister Claire (Claire Stephen) Spellman SND Obituary
Sister Claire (Claire Stephen) Spellman, SND
December 1, 1928 -

November 25, 2015

Sister Claire Spellman, 87 years old, and a Sister of Notre Dame for 69 years, died peacefully at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland.

Born in San Francisco to James and Marie Spellman, Lucille graduated from Notre Dame San Francisco in 1946, then entered the Notre Dame Novitiate. As Sr. Claire Stephen, she received her BA and Secondary Credential from College of Notre Dame (now Notre Dame de Namur University) and her MA in English from Catholic University of America.

For 28 years, Sister taught in Notre Dame elementary and secondary schools in Belmont, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Salinas, Marysville and in Washington state. She also taught at St. Francis High School in Sacramento, and served on the Board of Education for the Sacramento Diocese. Sister Claire later served as Hospitality Director at El Retiro Retreat House, then as administrative assistant at the Provincial House in Saratoga. She especially enjoyed her year of living and working at the Sisters' international headquarters in Rome.

Outgoing and gracious, Sister enjoyed traveling, camping, meeting new people; she had a good sense of humor and fun.

When her good friend, Sr. Geraldine Harris braved the opposition of the City Council and fearful neighbors to open Susan House in Campbell, Sr. Claire joined her in forming a caring community for women with developmental disabilities. For nearly twenty years, they helped the young women feel at home and live as independently as possible. The Sisters soon won the acceptance and appreciation of people in the neighborhood and the city.

Sister is predeceased by her sister, Claire Fahy. She will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by the Sisters of Notre Dame, brother-in-law Neil Fahy, nieces Cathy Newsom and Jean Fahy, nephews Jim and Steve Fahy, grand-nieces Marie Zillius and Lynette Richardson, and many former students and friends.

Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, at Notre Dame Province Center in Belmont. Interment at 2:30 PM at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1520 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002 or online at snddenca.org.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Dec. 7, 2015
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