Obituary of Claire B. Jones
Mrs. Claire B. Jones of Cornwall, NY and formerly of Port Jervis, NY died Saturday, April 17, 2021 at home with her family by her side. She was 97.
She was born April 20, 1923 in Hasselt, Belgium the daughter of the late Leon Bottin and the late Marie Van der Harten Bottin.
During the liberation of Belgium in World War II, she met the love of her life, George A. Jones, a Captain in the US Army Air Corps. They were married on June 1, 1946 in Hasselt, Belgium, and their love affair continued for 73 years until George’s death on November 6, 2019.
After graduation from high school she attended a Regent school in Hasselt, graduating with a degree in home economics. She used her education during the war working with a humanitarian organization to care for needy children who were suffering from illness and starvation. Her job there was to manage food distribution. During her lifetime she was always involved with children as teacher, dietician and Girl Scout leader. She was a reading aide in the Port Jervis City School District at the Sullivan Avenue School. Claire loved children and collected surrogate sons and daughters everywhere she lived who remain devoted to her.
Claire always carried herself with grace and dignity. She was a beautiful, classy lady with a kind and generous spirit, a quick wit, a loving heart, and a kind word for everyone. She enjoyed a good joke and her Belgian jenever. Claire, who loved the outdoors, music, and art, instilled an appreciation of these in her children.
Behind Claire’s ladylike demeanor lay a courageous and adventurous heart. As a young woman during World War II, she served with the Red Cross as a stretcher bearer, responding to the bombing victims of her community. She assisted her father, a member of the Hasselt city government during the German Occupation, often at great danger to herself.
Claire’s family was everything to her. She was a devoted wife who regarded her children as her greatest joy and accomplishment. She often referred to them as the jewels in her crown. She was proud of them as she was of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She surrounded herself with pictures of her family in every room of her home.
Above all else, Claire embraced life. When asked what advice she would give young people, Claire responded, “Don’t be afraid to dream. Reach for the stars. Follow your bliss. I wish you all of that.”
Our family is proud and grateful to have been blessed with such a wonderful, remarkable woman as our mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
5 Children: Colette Austin of Cornwall, NY; John Jones and his wife, Janice of Port Jervis, NY; William Jones and his wife, Marlene of Port Jervis, NY; Elizabeth Lass and her husband, Daniel of Shutesbury, MA and Michele (Mimi) Corbo and her husband, Philip Martinsville, VA.
8 Grandchildren: Christopher Jones (Laurie), Jennifer VanTuyl (Scott), Matthew Jones (Michele), Melissa DiGiantommaso (John), Jessica Riordan (Matthew), Meaghan Lass, Casey Jones and Timothy Mays.
9 Great-Grandchildren: Luke and Leah Jones, Alexandria and Scott “Mitchell” VanTuyl, Griffin and Campbell Jones, Gianna and Gemma DiGiantommaso, and Liam Riordan.
She was predeceased by her twin sisters Elizabeth Borgions and Leone Vanrintel and her sister Francine Roggeman. She was also predeceased by her brothers-in-law; Pierre Borgions, Jean Vanrintel, Alphonse Roggeman, and Elliot Jones; her sister-in-law Margaret Jones and her beloved son-in-law Ronald Austin.
There will be no visitation and a private graveside funeral service will be in the Pine Hill Cemetery, Sparrowbush, NY.
Memorial contributions may be made to ALSAC/St .Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Arrangements by GRAY-PARKER FUNERAL HOME, 100 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY 12771 845.856.5191 To read the obituary online or send a condolence note to the family visit www.grayparkerfuneralhome.com