Claire M. O’Connor
Claire M. O’Connor, 83, of Lake Placid, passed away peacefully on Feb. 24, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Born on Jan. 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, she was the daughter of Marie Germaine and Thomas McNamara.
She grew up in Brooklyn with her brother Tommy. After Brooklyn College, she worked for Jesup and Lamont on Wall Street.
Claire married Terence Murphy in 1961, after his graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He became a Navy aviator and was killed in Vietnam in 1965.
Claire raised her daughters Helen and Ingrid in Bethesda, Maryland. Her entrepreneurial spirit led to a wallpaper hanging business “Let Her Hang” and later to real estate with Weaver Brothers and Lee Platt Realtors.
In 1982, Claire moved to Lake Placid, where she later met the love of her life, Horace Pratt. They spent 37 years together on the hilltop of Polarity Way, surrounded by mountains, deer, wildflowers and forest.
Claire loved Lake Placid and was active in the community. When she first arrived in Lake Placid, she was the catering manager for Service America and was thrilled to attend concerts, especially Tina Turner. She also worked at Lake Placid central schools, where she enjoyed being with coworkers and students, as well as Camp Treetops at North Country School. She cherished her many friends, who accompanied her to book clubs, long walks, lunches and in the end, sat with her and offered companionship.
Community service was important to Claire and her volunteer activities reflected her commitment to giving back. While living in Bethesda Claire was a Girl Scout troop leader, a passion that provided many happy memories for her and her daughters. Claire also served on committees to fundraise for the House of Ruth (women’s shelter), S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat soup kitchen), and NIH (National Institute of Health) day care program for patients’ children. In Lake Placid, Claire’s service was extended to the Ecumenical Food Pantry, Lake Placid Centennial Celebration Committee, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and High Peaks Hospice, which brought her joy.
Claire leaves behind her daughter, Ingrid Van Slyke, son-in-law Paul Van Slyke and grandchildren Maris and Andrew Van Slyke, all of Lake Placid; daughter Helen Hagerty, son-in-law Harry Hagerty Jr. and grandchildren Terence, Mattie Moye, Hannah, Harry III, Murphy and Rory Hagerty, as well as great-granddaughter Selkie Kitchen, all of Washington, D.C.; stepdaughter Susan Pratt, of Petersburg; nieces Dawn and Diane McNamara; and nephew Dan McNamara.
Claire is predeceased by her partner Horace Pratt, husband Terence Murphy, daughter Germaine Murphy and brother Thomas McNamara.
Claire’s family expresses tremendous gratitude to her in-home caregivers, friends, High Peaks Hospice, Mercy Care for the Adirondacks, and her nurses at Elizabethtown Community Hospital for their gentle and kind companionship and care.
Calling Hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the M. B. Clark, Inc., Funeral Home in Lake Placid. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, with the Rev. John Yonkovig officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Educational Opportunity Fund for Lake Placid Central School District, www.edopfund.org, or Mercy Care for the Adirondacks, www.adkmercy.org.
Relatives and friends are invited to share a memory or leave condolences at mbclarkfuneralhome.com.