In Memory

Claire Bennett

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08/25/09 10:32 PM #1    

Lynne Hochberg (Pace)

Claire and I were very good friends from elementary school (PS 173) right through college (Queens). She was a very musically talented person, and I always enjoyed hearing her play the piano. We went to camp together one summer and had a great time. I also remember our trip to the 1964-65 World's fair with Karen Shack, Peter Levitan, Alan Meyers, and (I think) Barry Weissman. I just can't remember which girl went with which guy! We lost contact after college and I was very saddened to hear about her death from cancer.

08/28/09 12:06 AM #2    

Deborah Bernick

Claire loved music, and became an opera singer in her 20's and 30's. We heard her perform at a number of New York venues, and she was great.

She was generous with her time and loved people. She organized a mini-reunion of her 6th grade classmates from P.S. 173 in her East 90's apartment years ago...a few of us P.S. 26 folks also attended as guests.

Even after she was diagnosed with breast cancer around 1990, she invited my 7-year old daughter Dina and me to visit, and we spent a full day making calendars together, celebrating small joys.

Cheryl Waixel (Lewis '68) spoke at her funeral . . . just as it started to snow outside. It was a touching tribute to a classy, red-headed gal we all miss greatly.

Debbie Bernick

08/30/09 11:37 AM #3    

Penny Gilbert (Powders)

I met Claire in seventh grade at Ryan JHS and we became fast friends. She was very musically talented and we had fun playing the piano together. (We played for Senior Sing). I didn't know that she went on to become an opera singer. I'm sorry I never heard her sing and even sorrier that we lost touch.

10/28/09 02:45 AM #4    

Marian Goldstein (Grant)

I met Claire when she became co-chair of Senior sing. a wonderful person and always wise. Feeling sad now.

06/18/10 08:46 PM #5    

Harriet Holland

Claire died of breast cancer in 1995.  The Bennett family lived down the block from me at 170th St and 71st Ave. We were friends as very young children, but grew apart as we got older. It was because of Claire's dad, Roy, that I began playing classical piano at age 8 with an excellent piano teacher named Diana Graa. Claire and her twin brothers were/are super intelligent and creative, just like their parents. I was so sad to hear she had passed.  She was a very special woman. 

02/24/11 10:46 AM #6    

Cheryl Waixel (Kaften)

I think the date that Claire died was more like 1993.  She and I had been good friends as children and then we reconnected when we found that we both were working at Philip Morris USA.  She was a warm, effervescent, talented, optimistic, and beautiful person.  She will always be missed.

09/20/18 03:46 PM #7    

Keith Bennett

Hi, everyone. Keith Bennett here, one of Claire's "little bothers", as she would say. (Neil is the other "bother".)

Neil found this web site and pointed it out to me, several years after you posted your kind memories of Claire.

I was with Claire when she died in Westchester General Hospital. It was 11:43 PM, March 17th, 1994.

In a bizarre and (even more) unfortunate twist of fate, Claire was first diagnosed with breast cancer the day before Neil's wedding. She was so devastated she could not attend.

It was heartening to see some of you at Claire's funeral -- feels recent in a way but it was 24 years ago.

Claire was a phenomenal big sister, kind and loving, and always available to lend an ear, and offer well thought out advice. She also took me to my first antiwar demonstration when I was only 14!

She was to me an example of someone who tries to be helpful to others, and I have tried to emulate that trait. One of her former boyfriends was a paralegal, and didn't think he had it in him to become a lawyer. Claire encouraged him, giving him the confidence to take on the challenge, which he did, successfully.

And I always knew I could count on her (and Neil) for unconditional love and support, even when my parents did not provide that.

Claire was more than simply a sibling to me; she was a source of light and warmth who enriched my life. I decided to celebrate the gift of the years I did have with her rather than focus on the years we missed, for they were truly a gift and a blessing to me.

Her legal name when she died was Claire Moringiello. Gerard Moringiello married her during her illness, knowing her diagnosis and probable outcome.

Harriett Holland, nice to hear from you! I presume you are the sister of Mark Holland, whom Neil and I knew and played with sometimes? I hope he is well. You referred to the location of our house; to be precise, we lived at 70-07 170th Street.

I am keithrbennett on GMail and Twitter in case anyone wants to get in touch.


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