Claire Goldberg

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  • "We love you, Claire! Condolences to the family. -Beth..."
    - Beth Heinberg
  • "I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Please find..."
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Claire Goldberg, 79

SANFORD - Claire Goldberg died on Jan. 19, 2018, at the Newton Center in Sanford, with a dear friend at her side, after a long struggle that was the result of an automobile accident in 2000.

Claire was born April 28, 1938, in Norwalk, Conn., and was the elder daughter of Anne (Dubert) and Harry Goldberg. She attended schools in Norwalk and Stamford, Conn., and White Plains, N.Y.

She later moved to Boston, Mass., where she spent most of her adult life and worked for the Massachusetts Department of Social Services for 25 years, helping recruit social workers whose job would work to ensure the safety of children. During the warm months of her working years, Claire loved being on Cape Cod at the beach.

Most importantly, Claire had a son as a young single woman. Her son, Charles ("Chuck") Rubin, was adopted but, to Claire's great joy, he found Claire decades later and added his wife, Joanne ("Jo") Rubin, and children, Meghan, Matthew and Bethany, as part of her loving family.

Describing Claire best, daughter-in-law, Jo, wrote on her passing:

"I have and always will love Claire. She had no idea of the impact she had on my life. When I first met her, my relationship with Chuck's adopted parents was not what I would have wished for, so when I met Claire I didn't know what to expect. She turned out to be a breath of fresh air!

"She was always complimentary towards me and made me feel so much confidence in my mothering style and as an individual. She only ever had praise for me and never criticized me ever, which went such a long way for me.

"When I first ever set eyes on her, she looked deep into my eyes, as if she was getting the measure of me, and we were friends from then on. She has always supported us emotionally and physically whenever she could and I only have positive and happy memories of her. We have both sat on the floor of her apartment in Jamaica Plain with blindfolds on (inflicted by a 4-year-old Bethany) in hysterical laughter, with tears running down our faces from the ridiculous situation we were both in at the hands of a tyrannical 4-year-old, who wouldn't let us take off the blindfolds.

"She was one of the smartest and most progressive people I have ever met. I know since her accident she has not been herself and things have been difficult, but I remember the person she really was and that was good for me. She wasn't perfect (as none of us are), but she was always perfect to me…"

In addition to spending time with family and many friends, Claire also loved to swim and be at the beach. She also loved to be in contact with children and animals of all persuasions, shapes, colors and sizes as much as possible. Claire also loved to read or listen to books on tape, go to good movies and enjoyed concerts and live productions in her chosen adult hometown of Boston. Claire was a politically progressive gay woman, proud of her Jewish heritage, her family and her friends.

Seventeen years ago, following a near-fatal major accident, she retired and moved to Florida, where she spent as much time in a pool or at the beach as she could manage.

Claire was predeceased by her parents and her dear friend, Helaine Zimmerman. She is survived by her son, Charles Rubin; daughter-in-law, Joanne Rubin; grandchildren, Mathew Rubin and Bethany Rubin, Meghan Martin, Meghan's husband Ben Martin, their sons, Arlo and Ernest (all of whom live in Great Britain); her sister, Elinor Goldberg of Hope, Maine; and her sister-in-law, Susan W. Longley. She has many good friends who have been very loving and wonderful support for Claire since her accident, including Paris Ferriabough, Sadhbh Neilan and Barbara Wood.

Special thanks to all of her friends and the staff at the Newton Center for their exceptionally kind and loving care under all circumstances.

There will be a life celebration in July at Claire's favorite beach in Provincetown, Mass. To view Claire's guest book or leave an online condolence, please visit:

Donations can be made in Claire's memory to
SMHC Newton Center Activities
35 July Street
Sanford, ME 04073
or your favorite animal shelter

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Funeral Home
A.T. Hutchins, LLC - Portland
660 Brighton Avenue
Portland, ME 04102
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 31, 2018
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