Clara W. Lafontaine passed away while surrounded by family at her home in Milford on January 18th. She was 99 years old. Her husband, Roy A. Lafontaine Jr. preceded her in death on January 20, 2019.
Clara was born to Howard D. and Clara R. White in Portland, CT. She was the second of two daughters. Clara's early life was spent in Portland where she was raised and educated. She met Roy, her future husband of 76 years, when they were in the same third grade class. The two classmates later married on January 16, 1943.
Foregoing college, the young "war bride" moved with her new husband to Massachusetts, where he was stationed at Westover field, near Springfield. The couple then moved to Rome, New York, where Roy was processed into the Army Air Corps. When he was deployed to the Pacific theater, Clara accepted an offer to work for a company where she was trained to develop sensitive reconnaissance and related photographs for the War Department. Clara further contributed to the war effort by serving as a uniformed Red Cross volunteer.
Following the war, Clara and Roy moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts. During the nine years they lived in Holyoke, Clara had three children: Doreen, Roy Ill, and Walter. When Roy accepted re-assignment to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the family moved to Milford in 1955.
A few years after Clara got her family settled in and acclimated to Delaware, she entered the field of education. She became a teacher in an independent kindergarten program in Milford, as there were no public-school kindergartens at that time. When the program in which she worked was in danger of closing, Clara was instrumental in keeping the program going until the Milford School District started its own kindergarten programs. Clara continued to work in these programs until her retirement.
Clara was truly devoted to her family and committed to service activities and organizations in Milford. She was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, the Rebekah Assembly of Delaware, and Order of the Eastern Star. As for the latter two service societies, Clara served in a variety of leadership roles. An extremely talented pianist, Clara also served as musician for local, state, national, and international grand staffs. In addition, Clara's well-known musical talents and theatrical skills were routinely showcased in the Milford Senior Center's Annual Show. In addition, she routinely played the piano for local, seasonal kindergarten programs.
She is survived by her three children: Doreen L. Raub and her husband John; Roy A. Lafontaine Ill and his wife Susan; Walter H. Lafontaine and his wife Nancy, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Visitation with family members will take place at Christ Episcopal Church, 200 North Church St., Milford, DE 19963, at 10:00am on Saturday, March 4. The memorial service will begin at 11:00am, with a food and wine reception in Baker's Hall following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Christ Episcopal Church and/or Camp Arrowhead Capital Fund, 35143 Homestead Way, Lewes, DE 19958.