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Clara Marie (Shafer) Main

Updated: Mar 6

It is with sadness that the children of Clara Marie (Shafer) Main announce her passing on February 24th at the age of 90. We would like to thank the staff of Pierce Memorial Baptist Home in Brooklyn, CT for their terrific care in her last months.

Mom was born in Mystic and moved to Groton as a child.  Shortly after graduating from Fitch High school, she married David Main.  They met on a blind date when she was sixteen and he twenty-one and were married for 52 years when Dad died in 2003.  

Shortly after marriage, Mom and Dad moved to North Stonington.  While Dad worked at Electric Boat, Mom ruled the roost and raised six children. She did endless loads of laundry, was an excellent cook, and made extraordinary jam from fruit that Dad grew in a large garden.  As was usual in those days, children played outside while she got her work done. Since playing outside often meant the entire neighborhood, she perfected a loud call that could be heard several houses away when she wanted us to return home.  It was the stuff of legends.  Mom was kind and caring always but also stubborn and strong willed. There were memorable battles with teachers and school administrators who dared suggest one of us had done something wrong.  She just wasn’t going to lose an argument if she thought she was right.

When not focused on her family, sewing was her life’s passion.  In the early 1970’s, she opened the very successful C&C Dressmaking in Westerly, doing everything from alterations for local shops to fixing rips and replacing zippers to making wedding gowns. There wasn’t much she couldn’t make or repair.  She ran the business for more than 20 years, choosing to retire when dad did.

When they could, Mom and Dad traveled extensively, seeing Iceland, much of Europe and most of the United States. Mom was happiest when the trips were to visit the children or grandchildren and often noted that Dad wanted to see places and things while she wanted to see people.

Mom is survived by daughters Connie and Mary and sons Jim, Tom and John along with their spouses.  She was Gram or Grammy Great to seven grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.  She is also survived by her nieces and nephews and her extended Shafer family. Mom was predeceased by her son David, her parents Neil and Connie, her sisters Nelda and Shirley, brothers Joseph, John and Ben (John and Ben both lost on the submarine Thresher).  

In a long, full and busy life, one constant was that Mom was an avid reader.  In her memory, please read a book to a child. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Wheeler Library, P.O. Box 217, North Stonington, CT 06359.

Memorial service arrangements are incomplete at this time.’ The new sentence is ‘A memorial service will be held at Poquonnock Bridge Baptist Church in Groton, Connecticut on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 10:30AM.

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