Obituary of Clara Windsor
Clara Bennett Windsor
August 15, 1926 – February 24, 2017
Clara Bennett Windsor passed away peacefully on February 24, 2017 at the age of 90 years. Clara was a daughter of the Town of East Hampton. Her heritage through birth and marriage is connected to the early families who settled the town. She was born on August 15, 1926 to Horace Emmett Bennett and Clarissa Bell Lester Bennett. Clara was raised in the embrace of an extended family in the Round Swamp area of Three Mile Harbor Rd. She graduated from East Hampton High School in 1944. She met and married Clifford E. Windsor Jr., a veteran of WWII, in 1947. They moved to Montauk where they raised their family and operated the Montauk Bus Company until their retirement in 1976. After a brief time of travel, Clara and Cliff settled in Brooksville, Florida where Clara remained after Cliff’s death in 1984. In her later years she enjoyed the long term companionship of Jim Turner until his death in 2008. At 85 yrs., Clara moved north to be with her daughters, Donna W. Libert of East Hampton NY and Sharon W. Alestalo of Jamesville NY.
Clara was known for her joy in helping others and could make friends anywhere she went. You could leave her a moment and come back to find her in a conversation with a new friend. Neighbors often stopped to chat with her when she was doing yard work. She was known for her ready smile. She also adored young children engaging them until they would respond. Clara was an active person who enjoyed sports and in later years watching her grandchildren play softball, baseball and soccer. Clara and Cliff loved ballroom and square dancing. Her favorite color was pink. She strongly believed in preserving what she was blessed to have and leaving the places she lived better than when she arrived; for her that meant cleaner, neater and prettier. She enjoyed being a homemaker taking pride and satisfaction in her home and family. As a result, her family knows they were often quite spoiled as she showed her love by doing. If you were ill there was no one better to have by your side. Her church and community also benefitted from her generous willingness to help. In her last year she lived at an assisted living community where she helped her friends with reminders and encouragement, and escorted new residents during their first few days. To the very end, she took care of others.
She was a daughter, sister, spouse and partner, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to a lot of people. But she was also a partner in making family businesses successful working in Montauk Hardware Store for her father-in-law, driving for Montauk taxi or leading bus tours in the summers with Cliff and, of course, driving a school bus. Many children in Montauk started there school day counting on her steady hand, ready welcome and the occasional milk money when they forgot it. And for 2 winters after retirement, she and Cliff were wagon masters leading caravans of recreational vehicles around Mexico.
Clara was the last of her siblings who were all of East Hampton; Winifred Phillips, Isabel Nelson, Clarence Bennett and Edward Bennet. Her sister-in-law, Eunice Harris, survives her. Her daughters, Donna W. Libert with husband Ray Campbell and Sharon Alestalo with her husband Erkki Alestalo will hold a memorial and burial in the spring. Grandchildren are Claire and John Verlinden of Texas who have two sons, Joshua and Lucas; Carl and Melissa Libert of New Jersey with children Blake and Kaila; and Kristofer Alestalo of New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a donation in Clara’s memory to her spiritual homes of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Montauk Community Church.
Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.