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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: V. Claire Freese

V. Claire Freese, a longtime resident of her beloved Shelter Island, died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of July 12. She was 95 years and 7 months old.

Courtesy Photo

Claire was born on December 28, 1923 in Washington D.C. A natural storyteller, she would share with her family and friends stories such as seeing the Hooverville Camp of 1932, experiencing the Great Depression, and meeting Eleanor Roosevelt.

Claire always revered her education by the Jesuits at Georgetown Visitation, her family said, and after graduating she moved to New York City where she lived in a rooming house for single women and pursued a degree in interior design (and shared many interesting stories from this time as well).

In 1952, Clare married Walter Freese, a WW II veteran. They bought a house with the help of the GI Bill and together built a long, happy, successful life full of interesting work, family and travel.

Claire and Walter retired on Shelter Island in the 1980s, in Claire’s long-time dream house, and enjoyed many years of friendship, community and family gatherings.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.. at the Shelter Island Funeral Home, 23 West Neck Road.

The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday morning, July 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Isle Roman Catholic Church on Shelter Island, officiated by Father Peter DeSanctis.

Clare is survived by her four children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.