1932 – 2012
Putnam – Claire (Bessette) St. Jean, 79, of Perry St., died Friday, February 17, 2012 in her home with her loving family surrounding her. She was the loving wife of Gerald G. St. Jean. Born in Fall River, MA, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Blanche (Cote) Bessette.
Mrs. St. Jean worked as an administrative assistant with Family Services for the State of Connecticut. She also worked for the Clerk of Courts, and Loos & Co.
Mrs. St. Jean loved playing bingo, especially enjoying the many friends she met at the local bingo games. She was a huge supporter of her children and grandchildren’s athletic and musical endeavors. She was a “Den Mother” for many years to hundreds of football players for the St. Mary’s Crusaders’ that she and her husband Gerald founded. They were co-founders of and publishers of the “Sportlight Magazine.” Claire and her family were very talented musically. She enjoyed playing the piano and was a choir member for many years in St. Mary’s Church of the Visitation. She was an avid bowler throughout her life. She bowled with the “Bowlerettes,” and continued in various leagues until quite recently. She appeared on Candlepins for Cash in the early 1970’s. She also enjoyed taking pictures, leaving her family with a lifetime of memories. Claire will always be remembered for her kind, friendly, caring manner and her beautiful contagious smile; always being the “eternal optimist.”
Claire was a communicant of Saint Mary Church of the Visitation. She was a past president of the C.S.E.A. She was an Ambassador for the Deary Memorial Road Race and participated in the annual Relay for Life.
In addition to her husband, Claire is survived by her sons, Kevin St. Jean and his wife Nancy of Brooklyn, Timothy St. Jean and his wife Vicki of Putnam, and James St. Jean and his wife Debra of East Killingly; her daughter, Laurie Sevigny and her husband Michael of Riverside, RI; her brother, Richard Bessette of FL; her sisters, Alice Coderre of Putnam, and Rita Johnsen of FL; her grandchildren, Sadie, Andrew, Seth, Nicholas, Jillian, and Krista; her step granddaughter, Sarah; and her step-great granddaughter Ella. She was predeceased by her brothers, the late Adrian Bessette and George Bessette; and her lifelong friend, the late Harriette Drinan.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Claire’s family from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Wednesday, February 22, 2012 in the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam. A gathering will begin at 9:30 am on Thursday, February 23, 2012 in the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am in St. Mary Church of the Visitation, 218 Providence St., Putnam. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.
Memorial donations may be made in Claire’s name to the DKH Deary Memorial Road Race or to Hospice of NECT, both at P.O. Box 632, Putnam, CT 06260.