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Claire P. (Bessette) Kinnie

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Claire P. (Bessette) Kinnie Obituary
Claire P. (Bessette) Kinnie June 24, 1933 - July 5, 2013 Griswold - Claire Kinnie, 80, passed into the loving hands of her creator on Friday surrounded by her family. She was born June 24, 1933 to the late Ulderic and Irene (Turcotte) Bessette in Jewett City. She spent her early years there and then grew up in Plainfield. She graduated from Plainfield High School in the Class of 1951. Claire was united in marriage to Byron Kinnie, Jr., on December 11, 1954. She was a member of Saint Thomas Church in Voluntown her entire married life. She was employed by Kaman Aircraft in Moosup where she made many friends. Claire is survived by her daughter, April Kinnie Hansen; her son, Courtland Kinnie, and his wife, Bridget; eight grandchildren: Judy Hansen McRae, Emily, Erich, and Maegan Hansen; Brandon, Brianna, Makayla, and Benjamin Kinnie; and two great grandchildren: Connor and Kendall McRae. She is also survived by her two sisters, Doris and her husband Paul Whitehead of Voluntown; and Mary Rose Bessette of Central Village; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 55 years and her son, Sterry Kinnie. Claire was a very active vibrant person who made friends everywhere. Family and friends were always important to Claire. She had a vivacious, warm, and outgoing personality that she brought to each of the many organizations she was involved with throughout her life. Claire was an active member of Pachaug Grange #96, serving as Master and Chaplain numerous times. She volunteered her time at the Pachaug Fair as well as the Voluntown Festivals. She was the leader of one of the largest Girl Scouts troops in Connecticut. Her Voluntown troop participated in many hikes, campouts, parades, and various activities. Claire was very active at VFW Post #10004 especially while her husband was Post Commander. She was a founding member and past officer of the Voluntown Fire Dept Ladies Auxiliary. Claire enjoyed working at the Griswold voting polls. She loved quilting and sewing. She really enjoyed being a member of the Country Quilters of Northeast CT guild creating quilts for various charities. She was a very gentle and positive person with only kind words for everyone she met. Claire was truly a lady. She even dressed up to go grocery shopping or to sell sweet corn. Claire was happiest when the house was filled with family and friends. The farm was the home base for many extended family dinners and gatherings. Claire was a strong advocate of good health, eating right and getting exercise. If she had a career, Claire would have been a nurse as she enjoyed being a caregiver to many wherever there was a need. Claire always loved music and whenever she heard any, she needed to be dancing. She also enjoyed outings to craft fairs and historic house tours. Claire was blessed by the friendships of so many wonderful people and her life was richer for this. She will be missed by all. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Thomas and Anne Church in Voluntown on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 1 P.M. Arrangements entrusted to Leffler Funeral Home, Jewett City. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Claire's memory to Alzheimer's research through the foundation at Please remember her with a random act of kindness. For the online memorial and guestbook, visit

Published in Norwich Bulletin on July 10, 2013
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