August 1, 1936 – November 20, 2009

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming…Wow! What a Ride!”

Claudette inspired a great many of our members to describe her: indomitable spirit, steadfast dedication, goodness, courage, determination, wondrous spirit, sparkle, sense of humour, full of laughter, passionate, caring, generous and what a shopper!

Her love of life knew no bounds. She always seemed larger than life. She brought joy and craziness to all who knew her. She did so much in so many ways and was never afraid to tackle anything. Claudette certainly taught us how to win at everything, especially how to get the most out of life. She was truly a unique and beautiful soul.

We simply cannot afford to have her leave us with this world getting more and more beige by the minute.

Claudette was a long-time member of the Barnet crew but was also on the Philadelphia, Singapore, Cape Town and Australia crews. Claudette always seemed “bigger than life” to me and amazing to many – she was a fun and feisty woman who was there for anyone and always spoke her mind. Whenever Claudette said “hey, you know what guys?” you always knew there was going to be a great idea attached to the next sentence. In the last five years Claudette was best known for organizing the support to Lilydale B, a small preschool in South Africa that members of the AIAB Cape Town crew attended in 2004 and also on two committees for our own Ten Years Abreast Celebration in 2005; one being as a co-organizer of all those lovely harbour cruises.

Claudette was one of the true women who lived with breast cancer. She fought it with every new drug that came out…but that never deterred her from paddling, having wonderful laughs, weekend shopping trips to Beijing or her love of travel.

Now on to your biggest travel destination ever, Claudette, we will miss you ever so much.

Deb Legree