Claire Pauline Dame

SACO – Claire Pauline Dame, 83, of Saco, passed away at home in the arms of her loving family Oct. 20, 2021 following a lengthy battle with Diabetes and in recent years Dementia.

Born March 19, 1938, in Biddeford, she was the daughter of Albert and Beatrice (Richard) Brouillard. She graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in 1956 and was employed as a stenographer at Traveler’s Insurance when she met James Dame of Westbrook. They were married at St. Joseph’s Church in Biddeford on August 16, 1958. Claire was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish in Saco.

Claire spent almost 20 years alongside James on various U.S. Air Force bases throughout the United States and three years in Germany. In 1977, James retired from the military and they returned back home to Maine with their two children and settled in Lyman where she remained for over 35 years.

Claire worked at John Roberts in Biddeford and then at the age of 50 became a certified nurses aid and worked at St. Andres Healthcare facility and then at Interim Healthcare as a home health aid until she retired in 1990. Claire had a gift of compassion, kindness, and always wanting to help and care for others.

Predeceased by her husband of 41 years, James W. Dame; her companion of 17 years, Arthur Letendre; her mother and father; sister, Therese (Brouillard) Simoneau; and her six children that died in infancy including, Joseph James Dame, Paul Albert Dame, and four baby boys born sleeping.

Her memory will be cherished by those who survive her including her son, Stephen Dame and his wife Debbie (Heyde) Dame of Old Town, her daughter, Carmen Dame Gawronski and her husband Robert Gawronski Sr. of Saco; her grandchildren Alexandria (Dame) Redmond and her husband Zachary of Carmel, Stephanie (Dame) Paul and her husband Steve of Orono, Samantha (Schraeder) Ruiz and her husband Dominque of Chandler, Ariz., Jennifer Gawronski of Saco, Robert Gawronski Jr. of Saco; her four great-grandchildren; and her 14 nieces and nephews, their spouses, their children, and grandchildren.

She enjoyed the friendships made through her social groups including Daughters of Isabelle, Red Hats, Biddeford 50-plus club, McDonald’s coffee group, Biddeford Eagles Club, Saco Meals Program, and the Meals on Wheels luncheons. She enjoyed playing cards and Bingo, loved listening to live music with friends, going on Mystery trips with the 50-plus club, and would tell everyone she loved to gallivant. But most importantly, she was the heart of her family and enjoyed every minute with her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She instilled the importance of family every chance she could. She attended every school event, sporting event, and was the family’s biggest supporter. She never missed a family gathering or camping weekend. Even when mobility became hard, she could be seen in her wheelchair at the Thornton Academy gym not missing one of her grandson’s basketball games or traveling to make sure she did not miss a high school, college, or nursing school graduation. She could often be heard saying “live every day to its fullest”- and she did just that.

Visiting hours will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford, ME 04005. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at Hope Memorial Chapel. A private burial will take place following the service at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Biddeford.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Southern Maine for their support and assistance in bringing her back home for her final days surrounded by friends and family and for the Maine Medical Center team that provided such amazing care and helped the family realize their goal to get her back home.

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In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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