Claire Purcell Ham of Westfield, NJ, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. She was 86 years old. Claire was born in Orange, NJ and grew up in Bloomfield, NJ. She went to Sacred Heart Grammar School in Bloomfield, NJ; Lacordaire Academy High School in Upper Montclair, NJ. Claire graduated first in her class with highest distinction, summa cum laude, from Marymount Manhattan College in 1952 with a degree in Psychology.
Claire devoted her life to her family and her Church. Early in her career, she worked at Scott Wetzel Services as a Claims Adjuster, until it closed its doors. Until her death, Claire was an administrative assistant, at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, researching and recording Baptismal records.
Claire was an amazing Mother who was dedicated to her children with open arms and unconditional love. She was a loving and giving soul who made her life’s mission to make this world a better place by sharing kindness and a beautiful smile with everyone she met. She will be remembered for her contagious laugh, her gentle way of being, and her commitment to God and the church.
Claire is survived by her three children, Robert Esson Ham Jr. and his wife Linda Ham; Marguerite Claire Ham and her husband Gary Villani; Richard Purcell Ham and his wife Alisa Santucci Ham; her brother, Eugene Purcell and his wife Diane Purcell; her sisters in-law, Jane Purcell and Lucia Ham; her grandchildren, Mark and Kirby Ham; Katherine E. Ham; Jeff and Kathie Ham; Michael Santucci Ham and Gillian Santucci Ham; her nephews, Gregory and Patrick Purcell; James, Stephen and Michael Ham; her nieces, Megan Kathleen Word; Mary Alison Lewis; Kim Purcell and Kathleen Gabois.
Claire was preceded in death by her parents, Mabel (Henry) Purcell and Richard Purcell; her brother Joseph Purcell; her brother in-law, James G. Ham; her grandson, Matthew Van Masters and her nephew, Richard Ham.
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, March 24th from 4-8pm at the Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Ave., Springfield, NJ 07081 (973-376-7777).
Celebration of Mass will be Saturday, March 25th at 9:30am at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 315 1st Street, Westfield, NJ, 07090.
Masses or Donations may be made to: Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Westfield NJ (908-232-8137).
Reception for friends and family will immediately follow the mass at: Charlie Brown’s Steak House, 522 Southern Blvd., Chatham, NJ 07928 (973-822-1800)