Claudette A. Begonia

SOUTH PORTLAND – Claudette A. Begonia, 70, passed away unexpectedly at home on Friday, July 24, 2020.The story of Claudette Begonia began on July 9, 1950, when she was born in Portland, Maine. Raised locally, she graduated from Cathedral High School in 1968. Shortly thereafter, Claudette met Leonido “Leo” Begonia on a blind date. Little did either of them know, but that would be the beginning of a 50-year marriage that they recently celebrated. The only way a couple survives five decades is if they are truly in love with one another. Claudette and Leo were married at the former St. Patrick’s Church on Dec. 27, 1969. At the time, Leo was in the U.S. Coast Guard and stationed in Portland, Maine. The newly married couple began their family and lived in several places throughout the country. Over the next several years the Begonia family lived in Kodiak, Alaska, Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, however, in the late 1970s, the Coast Guard brought them home to Portland and South Portland where Claudette and Leo continued to raise their family on the foundations of love and support. Claudette enjoyed many things throughout her life. Some of the simple pleasures she enjoyed was spending time at Sebago Lake State Park, gardening, crocheting, painting, bird watching, and traveling throughout the world with her husband. But deep down, what brought Claudette the most joy was doing things for others. She would often crochet hats to be donated to the Maine Cancer Foundation, make different crafts to give away as Christmas tree decorations, and would often fill boxes to the brim with school supplies to send to children in the Philippines. It wasn’t uncommon to go shopping with Claudette and have her unexpectedly buy a gift for a family member, friend, or neighbor. She constantly put others before herself and would sacrifice anything for a family member or friend. To say that Claudette was a supportive mother is an understatement. Claudette had one of the hardest jobs in the world ? being a stay-at-home mother. Day after day, year after year, Claudette made sure her children knew how much they were loved. She was the type of mother any kid would be lucky to have. However, the pride and love she had for her children couldn’t compare to the joy Claudette had as being a Nana. Nana would drop everything she was doing to travel across the country to be there to welcome a new grandchild. She made sure they knew how much she loved them, whether it was just being generally supportive, taking a road trip just to visit, attending as many extracurricular events as she could, or even something as simple as enjoying a meal together over FaceTime. Simply put, Claudette was a loving, generous and supportive wife, mother and nana. She will be deeply missed. She is predeceased by her parents, Jimmie and Olive (Martineau) Crowder.She is survived by her beloved husband, Leonido “Leo” Begonia, known as “Lolo” to all of the grandchildren; children, Leo “Rick” Begonia of Sanford, Eric Begonia and wife Renee of Gorham, Elizabeth “Liz” McDuffie and husband James, Jr. of Cape Elizabeth, and Mark Begonia and wife Heidi of St. Cloud, Florida. She was the loving Nana to Derrick, Alisha, Nathan, Celia, Gavin, Brady, Caden and Scarlet. She is also survived by her sister, Claudia Cavanaugh of Rumford; and last but not least, her beloved pooch, Teddy. Visiting Hours celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 1-4 p.m., at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Per state mandates, masks will be required. To view Claudette’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit desiring may make memorial contributions to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland,PO Box 336,Portland, Maine 04098.

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