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LOWELL ---Claire R. (Foley) Bagley, 87, died peacefully Monday morning, June 24, 2019 at D’Youville Senior Care in Lowell. She was born and raised in Lawrence, MA, and graduated in 1949 from Lawrence High School. She is also a former longtime resident of both Haverhill and Lowell.
She will forever be missed by her son Richard J. Bagley of San Jose, CA, two daughters Lisa K. Bagley of Tyngsborough MA, Sheila J. Puma and her husband Paul of Leominster, MA, three grandchildren Ryan C. Bagley, Shea M. Puma and Catherine G. Puma , sister-in-law Pauline Foley, many loving nieces and nephews, including Cynthia C. (Churavy) Garrett who looked to Claire as a second Mom.
Claire was born in Lawrence on February 19, 1932 to Charles T. and Kathryn S. (Flynn) Foley. She was a loving sister to her departed siblings Frank, Charles, William, Kathleen, John, and James. She worked in several positions but most notably as an Assessor's clerk in the Town of Tyngsborough, MA .
She adored her father Charles and spoke of him as a man of few words . She described him further as one who commanded the respect of all who knew him. Claire was mature at an early age and relished in giving her father and mother that love and respect. She was always willing to help in managing all aspects of her childhood family home.
Her beloved brother John T. Foley was just seven when Claire was born. Claire learned that John loved to hold her and sing to her. His life was tragically cut short when Claire was only eight months old.
As a teenager, she loved to care for niece Jean (Foley) Coyle, who spent much time with Claire in recent years at festivals and plays.
Early in her marriage, she sacrificed and saved, so that she could be the financial go to person for her children. She was the household financial manager, filing many forms for college admissions. Her children were all admitted to wonderful colleges, in large part thanks to Claire.
She enjoyed many genres of music including patriotic tunes, but especially loved songs Ave Maria and O'Danny Boy .
She tried her hand at many crafts. She enjoyed refurnishing tables and chairs. She completed two beautiful quilts for Richard and Sheila, and a wonderful scrapbook for Lisa. She sewed many outfits for her children including a raincoat for Richard, a winter coat and bonnet for Lisa, a fringed poncho for Sheila and much more.
She was an avid reader of everything from politics to poetry. Her poem speaks to her love of words:
© Claire Bagley
Phlox is creeping
Mud is dried
Makes me want to
Change and clean,
The house, the garden
She was an exceptionally loving mother, we were her honeygirls and honeyboys. She made our Christmases, Easters, Halloweens and Birthdays magical. Every trinket was wrapped and stuffed into the toes of the Christmas stockings, lovingly placed at the foot of our beds.
In her later years, she volunteered for Lowell Senior organization.
In her last hours she spoke of a visit from her brother Frank. She corresponded often with Niece Karen (Foley) Michaud who offered this: "I imagine all her brothers and sister are welcoming Claire with a big Irish party".
All friends and family are welcome to attend a funeral mass to be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 11 am at St. Leo’s Church, 128 Main Street, Leominster, MA. Burial will be in Saint Mary's Immaculate Conception Cemetery, 29 Barker Street, Lawrence, MA, where she will be laid to rest near her beloved parents and her brother John T.
There are no calling hours. The Silas F. Richardson & Son Funeral home, 106 West Street, Leominster, MA is assisting the family with arrangements.