Claire Rita Rich (Van Doren), 94, passed away peacefully at home the morning of November 11th, 2022 in Freeland, WA on Bush Point, Whidbey Island. Claire was born April 30th, 1928 in Trenton NJ, and was preceded in death by her husband, Harry B. Rich; her mother Mary Estrella Hutchinson; and her father Addison Van Doren. She is survived by her children Suzannah Estrella; Les Rich (Darlene); Jennifer Kropack (Marc); Lauren Rich; Christina Rich; Harry Rich, Jr; and Kenneth Rich (Brian Zito); her grandchildren Lindsay Rich (Cory Olson) and Ryan Rich; and her great grandson Joel; her sisters Melanie Daly and Marlene Frazzini; her nieces and nephews; and a million stars in the universe—children and friends of her children who have become family: Jay Easter, Tom Perry, Joe Virnig, et al.
Claire was an active member of St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, WA. Among many parish activities, she served on the Pastoral Council and was active in Women of St. Hubert (WOSH) where she was known as the Sunshine Lady who sent cards and notes for every occasion. While on Whidbey, she also volunteered at Island Senior Resources and enjoyed dancing there. She loved her neighbors, her friends, her tap dance buddies, her coffee ladies, and her island community.
She had a long career in nursing and lived in many places across the country before settling in Seattle and raising her family in St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill. She lived a life of love, of caretaking, being a great listener to all who called and was the last remaining human on earth with a busy signal on her phone line.
A great mom, a better friend we won’t find again. She will be missed.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, WA on Saturday, December 3rd at 11am. A reception celebrating Claire’s life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the following organizations:
WhidbeyHealth Hospice at https://whidbeyhealth.org/
Women of St. Hubert (WOSH) at P.O Box 388, Langley, WA 98260
Make check payable to St Hubert with WOSH/Claire in memo line.