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CLAIRE BOUFFARD CHASE - BURLINGTON - Claire Bouffard Chase passed away on Friday, July 13, 2012, surrounded by her family in Fletcher Allen Health Care. She was born Marie Eva Claire Bouffard on Sept. 29, 1920, in Winooski, in the home her father helped build. She was predeceased by her parents, Alphonse Bouffard and Amanda (Beaudoin) Bouffard; her siblings, Dorian Bouffard, Clement Bouffard, Delia Mercure, Ruth Parker, and Bernard Bouffard; and her husband, Kenneth Chase. As a teenager, Claire worked briefly at the Mill, after which she worked for Burlington Daily News, as a reporter. When she was in her twenties, Claire went to Boston to seek her fortune, where she found work as a French translator for a legal firm and met her future husband. She worked in many different capacities and fields during her life, the longest as a social worker for the State of Vermont. Throughout her life, Claire was dedicated to working for social justice, peace, the environment, labor and women's rights, and building awareness of the Franco-American presence in New England. She was extremely proud of her French-Canadian heritage and in the 1980s, went to France with members of the Center of Franco-American Studies of the University of Maine, where she was awarded an honorary doctorate for her scholarly contributions. Claire is survived by her daughters, Donna Toneatti, Amanda Brown and Kim Chase; grandchildren, Eris Toneatti, Ross and Duncan Odell, Ryan, Stephanie, Julianna and Christopher Brown; and great-grandson, Adrian Toneatti. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, whom she loved as her own children. Among all of her many passions in life, Claire's family was always foremost. With the help of her cousins, she organized family reunions attended by relatives from all over the United States and Quebec. A celebration of Claire's life will take place at the home of her daughter, Kim Chase, on July 28, 2012, from 2 p.m. on, at 39 Grove Street, Essex Junction. It will be a potluck, and any and all whose lives were touched by Claire are invited to attend. On Sunday, July 29, 2012, all are invited to join the climb to the summit of Mount Mansfield to consecrate Claire's spirit to the wind, as per her typically clear directives. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Vermont, P.O. Box 65128, Burlington, VT 05406. Arrangements are with the LaVigne Funeral Home in Winooski.

Published in The Burlington Free Press from July 15 to July 16, 2012
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