Obituary: Claire Lanoie Foster, 1929-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Claire Lanoie Foster, 1929-2021 

Values of faith, family and hard work formed the foundation of a Burlington woman's life

Published November 5, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated November 5, 2021 at 5:44 p.m.

click to enlarge Claire Foster - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Claire Foster

Claire Lanoie Foster came to the end of her earthly journey on All Saints Day, November 1, at the McClure-Miller Respite House. She was born on April 14, 1929, in Gonic, N.H., the daughter of Clovis Lanoie and Imelda Rainville. She was one of 10 children living on a farm, where the shared values of faith, family and hard work formed a foundation that would remain with them through generations to come.

As a teenager, Claire worked at Harvey’s Bakery in Rochester, where she met and fell in love with Ray Foster. They married on June 24, 1950, at Holy Rosary Church and became parents to four daughters.

A formative time in her life were the years spent living beside St. Charles Children’s Home, where she became Mom for all the children. In 1971, her family grew again with the birth of a son. Claire, Ray and family relocated to Burlington, Vt., in 1977. Claire embodied an early version of a soccer mom, becoming involved in the Burlington Catamounts Soccer Club. She was an active member of the worshipping community at the University of Vermont Catholic Center and at Saint Michael's College. Claire and Ray ministered as a senior couple at Engaged Encounter on the weekends, sharing their wisdom and experience with young couples preparing for marriage.

Claire was an extraordinary grandmother who was involved in the lives of her grandchildren. Mem attended countless soccer and rugby games, concerts, dance recitals, drama presentations, and horse shows. Childhood tea parties grew into a treasured tradition, an opportunity to share both troubles and joys.

Claire is survived by her daughters Janet Foster Farina, Donna Foster-Mendicino and Colette Foster-Weston; her son Gregory Foster and his wife, Colleen Culhane; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren Nicholas Farina, his fiancée, Stephanie LaMora, and their, daughter Rose; Jeremy Mendicino; Elizabeth Farina; Micaela and Eebs Kobeissi; Claire Weston and Andrew Varuzzo; Emily Foster and her son, Jalani Anthony; and Sophia Foster and her fiancé, Shavar Dawkins. She also leaves her brother and his wife, Normand and Annette Lanoie; her sister and her husband, Helene and David Beauregard; and many nieces and nephews. Many special friends will mourn her, including Sheara Billado, MaryAnn and Laura Garber, Bob Begley, Habiba, Mary and Shamura Awayle, and Fr. Marcel Rainville. She was predeceased by Raymond Foster, her husband of more than 67 years, and daughter Diane.

The family is so grateful to the many caregivers who helped us keep Mom in her home for so many years. Thank you, Dr. Jaina Clough, for your skill, friendship and comfort. We appreciate the help received from the VNA, the UVM Health Network's Home Health & Hospice, and especially the tender care lovingly given in her last weeks at the McClure-Miller Respite House.

Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 1251 North Ave., Burlington, at noon on Friday, November 19, with burial to follow in the Memorial Garden at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Martha’s Kitchen in St. Albans or the McClure-Miller Respite House in Colchester.

Arrangements are in care of the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service. To send online condolences to her family please visit

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