Claire (Martel) Blank, 70, died on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at Southern Maine Medical Center, where family members attended to her in her final hours. She was born in Biddeford on August 18, 1947, the oldest child of Paul A. and Muriel (Boucher) Martel.
She graduated from Saint Andre High School in 1964 as the Salutatorian of her class. To her surviving classmates, Claire will be remembered as a distinguished scholar, a respected leader, and a beloved friend to many.
Claire attended the Carnegie Institute in Boston, and was trained as a medical technologist. She began her medical career at what was then the Webber Hospital in Biddeford, Maine. She later worked in Portland and in hospitals in New Hampshire.
In 1968, she married R. Eugene Blank III. Together through the years they renovated and built many homes, espoused a life of living off the land, and created a wonderfully nurturing environment for their two loving children, Adam and Amanda.
In the prime of her life, in 1990, Claire suffered a tragic accident which left her physically and visually impaired. She suffered many setbacks, and was forced to live her life in assisted living for decades, which she eventually accepted with grace and fortitude. Throughout those years, she was supported by the endless love and devotion of family members and special friends. Claire’s mother, Muriel, her sister Denise and husband Guy, Claire’s children and their partners, innumerable, multi-generational, immediate and extended family members, as well as Gene Blank, and later, his wife Joyce, were a source of love and life that helped Claire enjoy some measure of happiness. Claire was especially proud of her children and enjoyed being a Mémère to Noah Paul Kent and passed away before meeting her soon-to-be-born granddaughter, Eleanor Claire Kent.
Claire’s special friends, Colleen Mott and Phil Mullen, and the staff at Southridge Rehab & Living Center in Biddeford also became Claire’s family. They provided her with the daily human touches of kindness that met her needs and she responded in kind by becoming everyone’s friend and confidant. Claire’s immediate family is grateful for the lengthy and caring support Claire received while she was with them.
Claire will always be remembered for her strong spirit, her exceptional intelligence, and for her articulate and irrepressible sense of humor (en français et en anglais). All of us who knew her will be forever inspired by her clever wit, her cheerful spirit, her undaunting courage and her enormous capacity to love others forever and life in the moment.
Son: Adam and his life partner Jenny Lou of Texas
Daughter: Amada her husband David Kent of Washington
Grandson: Noah Paul Kent
Granddaughter: Eleanor Claire Kent expected 4/27/18
Mother: Muriel Martel of Biddeford
Sister: Paula and her husband Clyde Tarr of Belfast
Sister: Denise and her husband Guy Roy of Biddeford
Brother: Brother Donald Paul and friend Brother Kenneth Leo of Bucksport
Numerous: Nieces, Nephews, Great Nieces and Great Nephews, including her very special Great Niece Keelie.
Per Claire’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations to support the residents of Southridge Rehab & Living Center may be sent to Denise Roy, 78 Green Street, Biddeford, ME 04005.
Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm Street, Biddeford, Me., 04005, has been entrusted with arrangements. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Church in Biddeford. Burial will be at the convenience of family. To share condolences on line, please visit www.HopeMemorial.com.