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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
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November 24, 2018

Claire Kitson
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Memorial Candles Lit for Claire | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Vincent Funeral Home - Simsbury

Obituary for Claire Kitson

Claire Louise Cunningham Kitson, most recently of Lakeland, Florida, passed away on Saturday, November 24, 2018 in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was born on December 7, 1932, in New Britain, CT the daughter of John and Gertrude (Klar) Cunningham. During her early years she lived with her parents and siblings at the home of her grandparents, Frank and Christina Klar, on Ellis Street in New Britain. The family later moved to Chapman Court but would decamp each summer to a cottage on Great Hill Pond in Portland, CT. She especially loved summers at “the lake” with days full of swimming, barn visits, caring for her dogs, and mischief with friends and cousins. An excellent student, she participated in swimming, archery, and drum corps, and graduated from New Britain High School in 1951.
In October 1953 Claire married John “Jack” Kitson. They were married for almost 56 years before Jack’s passing in 2009. Together they raised four children. Claire is remembered as a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is commander in chief of the Kitson household. Her love of her family was rarely spoken but evidenced in her actions, steadfastness, and independence; traits she passed to her children and were probably under appreciated until they were parents themselves.
In retirement she rekindled her passion for dogs. She raised and showed Kerry Blue Terriers, not exactly the easiest breed. She was active in the Farmington Valley Kennel Club, various Kerry Blue Terrier clubs and traveled throughout the eastern US and Canada participating in dog shows, eventually bringing one to Champion - a source of great pride. After retiring from showing dogs, she reveled in the company of her companion dogs.
Jack and Claire moved to Lakeland, FL in 2001. Until this year Claire was a very active pro shuffler as a member of the Lakeland Shuffleboard Club and the Central District of the Florida Shuffleboard Association. She was a formidable and gracious opponent. Claire was also an avid UCONN Women’s basketball fan. In her opinion, their games were the only thing worth seeing on television.
Claire is survived by her children, their spouses and her grandchildren: Bruce Kitson, Franca Vicendese, Nathan and Samuel Kitson of Wethersfield, CT; Russell Kitson and Kathy Carroll of Otis, MA; Ann Kitson, Steven Snook, Katharine and Tucker Snook of Conway, MA; and Edward Kitson, Stephanie Haynes and Ingrid Kitson of Portland, OR. She was predeceased by her brother, Frank Cunningham and is also survived by her sister, Rita Lulis of Pinellas Park, FL and her cousin, Tom Ward of Las Vegas, NV.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, November 30th at 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Church, 940 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT. Private internment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain, CT. The family asks that Claire be remembered by heartily enjoying some Ben & Jerry’s, preferably chocolate fudge brownie. Please visit Claire’s “Book of Memories” at for online condolences.

Service Information

November 30, 2018 10:00am
St. Mary's Church - Simsbury
942 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070