Claire Moran Ford
1931 - 2021
BORN
1931
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Harding Funeral Home
210 Post Road East
Westport, CT
Claire Moran Ford
July 28, 2021
Claire Moran Ford, 89, passed away on July 28, 2021, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport, CT, surrounded by her loving family and parish priest.
Claire was born November 5, 1931 to Lawrence Anthony Moran and Clara Schneider Moran, in Oceanside, NY. Claire grew up in Lynbrook, NY and graduated from nearby Saint Agnes High School in Rockville Centre, NY in 1949.
Claire attended (and thoroughly enjoyed) Cornell University, where she received a BS degree in Home Economics. While at Cornell, Claire met Clark George Ford of Port Washington, NY. They wed in 1954, at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and lived in New York City and Gelnhausen, Germany, while Clark served in the U.S. Army. Claire and Clark then settled in Westport, CT in 1959, where they raised their three children. Claire lived in their home on Timber Lane until 2015 and sold their home earlier this year.
Claire lived a full life enriched by family, social, professional, educational, religious, and volunteer experiences. She was an avid reader and gardener, and enjoyed cooking meals and hosting parties for family and friends. Claire was also an exceptional listener, problem solver and friend.
Claire's early career was in marketing, starting with Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Cincinnati, OH and then with Young & Rubicam (Y&R) in Manhattan. Claire later worked for the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, after which she sold residential real estate in Westport, working for William Raveis and subsequently Coldwell Banker.
Claire's numerous volunteer activities included serving as the first chairperson of the Westport Beautification Committee. Established by First Selectman John Kemish in 1968, and in partnership with the First Selectman and the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission, under Claire's leadership, the Beautification Committee was instrumental in Westport purchasing small parcels of land and transforming them (and existing town land) into beautiful parks. In partnership with the town and The Westport Woman's Club, the Beautification Committee also actively contributed to the success of The Greening of the Post Road initiative, responsible for the thoughtful planting and care of trees and shrubs along this vital thoroughfare. Nearly 50 years later, some of the first trees planted still add to the beauty of Claire's favorite town. After serving as chairperson, Claire continued serving on the Beautification Committee for decades, delighted that the Beautification Committee continued adding to the beauty of Westport, in partnership with town leadership (regardless of political party) and other members of the Westport community.
Claire also chaired the flower committee, taught religious education and managed audio/visual equipment usage at Saint Luke Parish, where she was a parishioner from 1959 until her death. Claire served on the Westport Republican Town Committee and was a member of The Westport Woman's Club, The Westport Young Woman's League, The League of Women Voters of Westport and the Republican Women of Westport. Claire volunteered at STAR, an agency that supported individuals with special needs. She also "volunteered" at the Connecticut Unemployment Office, with the intent of bringing both assistance and compassion to those going through a hard time.
Claire served as a Justice of the Peace and particularly enjoyed providing joy by performing weddings. She was an active supporter of her children's interest in scouting, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother and a Girl Scout Troop Leader, while also serving on the Board of the Southwestern Connecticut Girl Scouts Council.
Throughout her life, Claire led by example, gave back and was always willing to lend a hand.
Claire's social activities included the "Beach Bunch" (a group of friends who celebrated and thoroughly enjoyed Westport's Compo Beach together for nearly 60 years); Westport Country Playhouse; Westport Community Theater; Westport Community Gardens (founding member); the Gourmet Club; Food & Friends; County Capers (a dance club); Cotillion (another dance club); multiple book groups; Cornell Club of Fairfield County (President for 10 years); Cornell Class of '53 (Reunion Chairperson for multiple reunions); and Columbine Investment Club.
Claire was always curious and adventuresome. She said she lived vicariously through her children, encouraging and supporting them in pursuing their interests. However, generations of her family and friends continue to be inspired by her active involvement in the world around her. Claire's most recent return to the classroom was at Norwalk Community College where, in her mid-80's, she took several courses, fueling her passion for learning about history and our ever-changing world. In her teens, during the 1940's, she loved to pilot airplanes and in her '20's, she took racing lessons using her beloved 1953 Jaguar XK-120. Claire and Clark had a lifelong love of travel, and took their family on amazing trips within the U.S. and across Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
During her nearly 53 years of marriage to her late husband, Clark, Claire exemplified the perfect partner. She was loving, collaborative, supportive, insightful, objective and independent, inspiring her children and grandchildren, among others, to live happy, healthy and balanced lives.
In recent years, Claire lived at Maplewood at Strawberry Hill and, upon its opening, Maplewood at Southport, where she enjoyed socializing with her many new friends, living in her "dorm room", serving on the Residents Committee, participating in the book club, attending movie screenings and outings with family and residents, and hosting numerous family gatherings, much like the countless parties she hosted for family and friends throughout her life.
Claire is survived by her children, Clark Geoffrey (Jeff) Ford, Suzanne Claire (Suzie) Ford, and Christopher Lawrence (Chris) Ford (Eileen), and her grandchildren Blair Ford, Jaime Ford, Max Ford and Chloe Ford. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Ann Wiltsey Moran, 3 nieces (Terry Moran Wyza (Jerry), Kathy Moran, and Patty Moran), as well as numerous cousins, including, George Raymond Moran (Barbara) of Fountain Hills, AZ, and her husband's cousins, the Salas Family. Sadly, her only brother, Lawrence Joseph Moran of Auburn Hills, MI, passed away 22 days after she did, on August 19, 2021. She was predeceased by her husband Clark George Ford (2007), her parents, and several cousins.
There will be a Funeral Mass at St. Luke Catholic Church in Westport, CT at 49 Turkey Hill Road North, on Saturday, November 6th at 10:30 am. The Funeral Mass will be live streamed, accessible at https://www.saintlukewestport.org/ and found under the Live Stream Mass menu. A Celebration of Life luncheon will follow immediately after the Mass, in the Parish Community Room. Claire's family looks forward to connecting with family, friends and acquaintances and sharing memories of times spent with Claire.
Letters of condolence can be sent to Claire Ford Family, 606 Post Road East, Suite 3, #507, Westport, CT 06880 or [email protected]
In lieu of flowers, please make donations "in memory of Claire Moran Ford" to the Cornell Annual Fund. Gifts can be made online at www.giving.cornell.edu. There is a section online to specify "Cornell Fund" and another to specify "in memory of" information. Alternatively, checks can be mailed to: Cornell University, Box 37334, Boone, IA 50037-0334.
Published by Westport-News on Oct. 18, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Nov
6
Celebration of Life
St. Luke Catholic Church in Westport
Parish Community Room, Westport, CT
Nov
6
Funeral Mass
10:30a.m.
St. Luke Catholic Church
49 Turkey Hill Road North, Westport, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Harding Funeral Home
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