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Claire O'Connell

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Claire O'Connell Obituary
July 24, 2016 Claire Merrill O'Connell died a year ago on July 24, 2016, at the age of 85. Claire Louise Merrill was born in Utah and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where her father, Marriner Merrill, was a prominent surgeon. She met Richard O'Connell at Stanford University (in a United World Federalists meeting); they fell in love and were married a few years later. Richard received his Bachelors' in Psychology at Stanford and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Claire's Bachelor's from Stanford was in History, and she earned a Master's in English at the University of Michigan. Richard loved his work as a Psychology Professor at California State University Northridge (CSUN); Claire enjoyed teaching English Composition at Santa Monica City College. She also joined the CSUN Arts Council, serving as president and receiving an Honorary Life Award. Claire was deeply in love with her husband, who predeceased her by twenty years. She especially enjoyed reading Jane Austen's novels and attending JASNA conferences, discussing politics, reading the daily paper, and watching the wildlife in her backyard. Claire passed away peacefully at home with family by her side. She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Martin; her children, Caroline, Dan, and Katie (and Katie's husband, Pastor Bill Sweeting); her grandchildren Josh, Tim and Ben, and the rest of her extended family and dear friends. Her younger brother, Marriner Craig Merrill, died in 2015. Claire was unique! She exuded a quiet strength, curiosity and love of learning. She made friends wherever she went and will be greatly missed by all she impacted with her love and generosity.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 6 to July 24, 2017
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