PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Claire Witkos, 85, of Portsmouth, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2020. Claire was born in Holyoke, MA to Stanislas Angers and Evelina Fournier, the eighth of nine children. Claire was the wife of the late Donald Witkos.
Claire graduated from Precious Blood High School and began her career at the Springfield Armory.
She married the love of her life Donald in 1958. They enjoyed 53 wonderful years of marriage until his death in 2011.
After raising their three children Claire began a second career with the Portsmouth School Department until she retired in 2000. She volunteered at the Newport Hospital for many years, earning a Community Hero Award in 2003.
Claire was an accomplished pianist, she was active in the Island Senior Chorus for many years, always wowing audiences with her piano solos. With the chorus, she participated in many community events over the years, entertaining young and old with her wide-ranging playlist. She led the sing-a-longs at family gatherings throughout her life and her music was an essential part of the Witkos family and holiday celebrations.
She and Don loved to travel, taking many trips with their family and then their extended family in their retirement. Claire was always up for fun, playing games – puzzles, trivia, Jeopardy. And she would never turn down a Dunkin iced coffee while driving around the Ocean Drive.
Claire will be remembered as a friend to many, with a kind word and a smile for everyone she met.
Claire is survived by her children Linda Witkos of Portsmouth, Paul Witkos (Christine) of Middletown and John Witkos (Kimberley) of Milford, MI. She also leaves her three cherished grandchildren Owen, Ethan and Julia Witkos.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her eight siblings.
Visitation will be held Monday, March 16, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Connors Funeral Home 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 10:00 AM in Connors Funeral Home.
Burial will be private.
Memorial donations can be made to the American Heart Association.