NAUGATUCK — Claire M. Bellemare, 83, wife of the late Joseph R. “Rich” Bellemare for 64 years, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 8, 2020, at the St Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury.
Claire was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and made her home with Rich in Naugatuck where they welcomed eight children. She devoted her life to taking care of her children, her grandchildren, their friends and anyone else that needed her. Claire delivered cereal to the Naugatuck Food Bank nearly every week for over 20 years where she became known as the “Cereal Lady.” In 2018, a surgery left her unable to walk but that never stopped her. All that changed was the vehicle that she made her deliveries in. With the help of her children, she would hang grocery bags full of food over her wheel chair and motored the block to the food bank. She also shopped all year long for toys, clothes and other gifts to be delivered at Christmas time to the children of Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury. On her watch no child did without!
Claire is survived by her eight children, Richard Bellemare (Wendy), James Bellemare, Elaine James, Mary Mitchell (Michael), John Bellemare (Michelle), Barbara Yale (Lucas), Christopher Bellemare (Melissa), and Michelle DiMauro; her grandchildren, James Bellemare Jr.(Karen), Camille Bellemare, Thomas James (James), Maggie Bellemare, Joseph Bellemare, Kora Yale, Christopher Bellemare, and Jordan DiMauro; her great-grandchildren, Josh, Christian, Meghan, James III, Teah and Logan; her great-great-grandson, Austin. She also leaves her beloved caretaker, Colleen Funicello. In addition to her husband and her parents, Claire was predeceased by her granddaughter, Jennifer James; her son-in-law, Martin James; and her daughter-in-law, Rose Bellemare.
In respect of social distancing, services will be held at a date to be determined. At this time there will be no calling hours. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Claire’s memory, contributions may be made to the Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank, 75 Spring St., Naugatuck, CT 06770.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.