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Claire Lee, our family matriarch, passed away peacefully, December 25, 2017 at 97. She was born in New York City, NY, November 1, 1920. Married for 67 years to Robert S. Lee (deceased), mother to Penny L. O’Neill (husband, Steve), Alie Michael Campbell of Brentwood, Tennessee, grandmother to Aaryn O’Neill Thompson and, great grandmother, “GiGi” to her cherished Madisyn Thompson, 15 and Trevor Thompson, 13. Beyond her compassion for her family, Claire, a Tampa resident since 1960, devoted many years to community service, recording for the blind and reading to children at McDonald’s house. Proudly, Claire spent years as a Professional Actress with Showboat Dinner Theater. As an Equity Member, who experienced the Broadway stage, she performed in over a dozen plays and musicals with notable artists such as, Cesar Romero, Peter and Aniko Palmer, who became close family friends, James Drury (The Virginian ), Kaye Ballard( who loved calling Aaryn, “little Gilda Radner”) and many more luminaries of stage and screen. Her joy for acting was life-long. A favorite role was Aunt Ella in Oklahoma. She garnered many awards both in Mt.Vernon,NY and Tampa, devoting much of her life to her family, 3 sisters and a brother, her “Bobby” and children as she continued her work on stage. Her love for life and care for the well being of others was most evident in her infectious laughter impacting all who knew her.
A private service will be held at Florida Veteran’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to: Jewish National Fund at jnf.org.
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