Burke, Claire Blanche (nee deBilly) – [de bee-yee]
Claire passed away peacefully at Cassellholme on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the age of 94.
Claire was born and raised in Lauzon, Quebec by her parents, Solomon and Nolia deBilly (nee Drolet).
After completing her education, Claire worked in Quebec City during the war until she met Vernon Burke, her handsome sailor from Northern Ontario. According to the stories to their children, an epic love story began that spanned over 70 years until the passing of Vernon in 2017.
Once married, the newly weds moved to North Bay and later to Englehart, where they settled and raised a family. Before retiring to North Bay in 1984, Claire, lived an active life in Englehart: volunteering in many organizations (i.e. Royal Canadian Legion, Catholic Women’s League, Brownies, teaching night school French to name a few), as well as sports and outdoor pursuits. Although she was employed as a secretary for Englehart High School, she never felt it was a job, but an opportunity to interact with the younger generation. She often said with affection that the students put a smile on her face each day. It was well known that Claire had a flair for style and an artistic bent – innate gifts she passed on to her children and encouraged to develop.
Claire was mother to four children: Daniel Burke (Ruth), Robert Burke, Patricia Martin (|Mike Desilets) of North Bay, and Suzanne Lalande (Eugene) of Englehart. Claire is predeceased by her parents, and siblings Robert deBilly, Jacqueline Guimont, and Suzanne Lamothe. Claire is survived by her sister, Charlotte Roberge, and brothers Marc and Claude deBilly.
In keeping with Claire’s wishes, funeral services are private and entrusted to McGuinty Funeral Home in North Bay. Donations to Alzheimer’s Society or Heart and Stroke Foundation will be graciously accepted.
Online condolences may be made at www.mcguintyfuneralhome.com
The Burke family would like to thank the staff at Cassellholme Nursing Home for their kindness
and devotion towards Claire during her years with them.
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