Claire Helene (nee Frenzke) Meyer was born on June 10th, 1930 at home, in a charming town called W.N.Y., in N.J. Her parents were Helene E. Frenzke & William H. Frenzke, a young Christian couple very much in love and also of proud German descent.The family of three lived over a small corner grocery store that Claire’s maternal Grandparents owned, Bertha & Conrad. She attended public school, being skipped a grade, twice, and even took piano lessons which developed her musical talents! When playing the piano, in her younger days, she could tickle all 88 ivory keys, w/ or w/out sheet music! She also had an artistic ability and was rather creative when it came to writing stories. In 1940, she and her parents moved from Hudson County to Bergen County to live in the suburbs, relocating to a nice town named Bergenfield. It was a special place because next door to where the three were to live, her maternal Aunt & Uncle, along with her cousin Lola and her brother, Ron were ALSO to live! They did, and the many days they shared until their youth blossomed into adulthood were filled with joy, fun and laughter1 Life was good… She graduated BHS, class of 1947. She was the secretary of the French club in HS, and also fancied ceramics and sewing. She also enjoyed swimming & canoeing, and walks through the woods with her two dogs, Skippy and Terry. After HS, she studied at McDowell’s School of Costume Design, in Manhattan. After two years, she found employment at McCalls Magazine and also freelanced later for Good Housekeeping Magazine. Her specialties were pattern making and needlecrafts, as a technical artist. That was her passion! There she made life long friends, too! In 1956, she met a very special man named Lino (Lenny) whom she married, the weekend before he was to be deployed to Korea. During the 2 1/2 years that they were apart, they corresponded daily via paper thin airmail letters! Their letters were filled with their hopes and dreams for the future together, many of which came true for them! In 1960, they had a daughter, Janet.
They enjoyed camping together, in the great outdoors, including Bear Mountain! Fresh food was always the choice in their own kitchen, particularly veggies & seafood! And, if you went in her kitchen, you’d find her Presto pressure cooker! Life was sweet, but many stories take a turn and tho Claire & Lino divorced in the mid 1970’s, they remained friends. Claire went back to work on her own and took courses at Bergen Community College for enrichment. One day, a mutual friend from Claire’s Christian youth group contacted her. He had become a widow, and he swept her off her feet, only to remarry (1984) and relocate to Connecticut. They enjoyed skiing, short trips around the country, and were avid weekly church goers. Claire joined St.John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, in New Britain. Claire wrote inspirational stories for their newsletter, The Messenger! She was also active in Altar Guild, WELCA, Evangelism Committee, Social Ministry and Shepherding Group. During this time, she enjoyed skiing, in addition to her old ice skating skills! She enjoyed bicycling, too! A typical morning was a tall pot of coffee percolating, the daily newspaper and homemade (blueberry) pancakes w/cardamom! She enjoyed Sudoku, crossword puzzles & (Sunday) comics! She enjoyed sunsets. In 2010, she became a widow. On December 27th, Claire passed peacefully into Heaven, at St Vincent’s Hospital, her family at her side, holding her warm hands.
She is survived by one lovely and devoted Granddaughter, Violet Helene St. Clair, and her great grandchildren, Akira St. Clair and Evelyn St Claire. She is survived by her daughter, Janet. She is survived by her first husband, Lino, & his wife Jane. She is survived by her cousin Lola Greenwood (NJ) and her children and grandchildren. She is survived by her cousin’s wife, Dorothy Pieringer, tho her cousin, Dr. Ronald Pieringer predeceased her. She is survived by cousin Ronald’s grown children, Laura (& husband) Scott Robaugh. (PA) She is also survived by his son David, and family Michelle and Jake. She is survived by her nieces, Maritza (UPR) and Tania (husband Rev Samuel Cruz, daughters Amber & Jovana & Naome) and Lorraine (and her family of four). She is survived by her nephew, Eric and his family. She was predeceased by her beloved sister-in-law, Maria Estella (Vasquez) Lopez. She was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Ferruccio, She was predeceased by her cousin, Lucille (Frenzke) Miller (KS). She was predeceased by her cousin, Henrietta Wolf (CO). She is survived by her cousin, Roy Frenzke’s wife, Mary Frenzke (NJ), tho her cousin Roy predeceased her one year ago. She is survived by Roy’s son and his family of four (NC). She is survived by her life long friend, Janet Poppe (Chicago) whom she worked with at McCall’s. She is survived by her childhood friend, Elaine Koykas (NJ) and her son (& his family) and daughters Joan (& family) and Godchild, Diane Occhiogrosso and husband, Manny, and Diane’s daughter. She was kind, sweet and patient and an optimistic person! And will be greatly missed. Many thanks to St.Vincent’s Hospital, Hartford Healthcare (aka New Britain General), Stratford EMT, Apple Healthcare, Dr Ronald Helfand, DDS & Gena, Dr Piekarsky, MD and Dr. Roccapriore, DPM.
"Celebration of Life Ceremony” on 1/14/2023 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, by Rev. Samuel Cruz and immediate family