Claire O’Connell McAuliffe of Wellesley, Massachusetts passed away peacefully on April 3, 2022. She leaves behind her devoted husband and best friend of 65 years, Andrew “Andy” McAuliffe, Jr. and her loving children Andrew and his wife Bridget, John and his wife Lana, Edward “Ted” and his wife Anne, Joanmarie Lee and her husband Rich, and Paul and his wife Mary Francis. Claire was predeceased by her son Lawrence, and her brother John of West Roxbury.
Claire, the daughter of John and Blanche O’Connell, was born in Winthrop and was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy 1949, and Regis College, class of 1953. Claire and Andy were married in August of 1956 and in 1964 they moved to Newton, where they raised their six children. Claire’s warm and lively presence permeated their bustling and welcoming home, where the back door was always open. A freshly baked cake waited on the kitchen counter, happily knowing her children’s friends could come and go as if it was their own home.
Always quick to organize a fundraiser or social event, Claire was an impressively active social member of Woodland Golf Club in Newton, St. Sebastian’s School, and the Guild of St Irene, making lifelong friends along the way. She pursued a secondary career of shopping for bargains at Filene’s Basement of Boston and often ended the spree with a trip to St. Anthony / Arch Street Shrine.
Claire taught special education in the Boston Public Schools for 25 years, beginning at the W.H. Ohrenburger School in West Roxbury and completing her teaching career at West Roxbury High School. Retirement did not slow Claire down! “Grammie” quickly jumped into another busy life of grand-parenting Andrew, Edward, Oliver, Lisa, Zachary, Jack, Sam, Tommy, Rory, Sarah, Stephanie, Justin, Michael, Simon, Paul, and Carmen. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Claire lived by the phrase “to have a friend you must be a friend” and she made them wherever she went. Her caring, kind heart and genuine interest in the well-being of others made an impression on every person she met.
Remembered for her deep faith, impeccable dress, and, of course, mastery of idioms, Claire would proudly attest being surrounded by family was her greatest joy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, April 8th at 11:00 o’clock at St. John the Evangelist Church, 9 Glen Road, Wellesley Hills. Visiting hours at the Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington St, Wellesley Thursday, April 7th from 4:00- 7:00 P.M. Interment St. Mary’s cemetery. Relatives and friends are kindly invited.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Claire’s memory to Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts / New Hampshire at www.alz.org
or St. Sebastian’s School at www.stsebs.org/support/give-online
. Gifts to the St. Sebastian’s School Fund may also be mailed to St. Sebastian’s School, Attn: Advancement Office, 1191 Greendale Ave, Needham, MA 02492.