July 19, 2017

Clara Bennett Windsor, 90



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Clara Bennett Windsor passed away peacefully on February 24, 2017, at the age of 90. She 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.

Ms. Windsor was born on August 15, 1926, to Horace Emmett Bennett and Clarissa Bell Lester Bennett. She was raised in the embrace of an extended family in the Round Swamp area of Three Mile Harbor Road. She graduated from East Hampton High School in 1944.

She met and married Clifford E. Windsor Jr., a veteran of WWII and Montauk resident, in 1947. They lived in Montauk where they raised their family and operated the Montauk Bus Company until their retirement in 1976.

After a brief time of travel, the couple settled in Brooksville, Florida where Clara remained after Cliff's death in 1984. At 85, Ms. Windsor moved north to be with her daughters, Donna W. Libert of East Hampton 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 often 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.

Clara was the last of her siblings who were all of East Hampton; Winifred Phillips, Isabel Nelson, Clarence Bennett, and Edward Bennett. Her sister-in-law, Eunice Harris, survives her. 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.

Her daughters -- Donna W. Libert with husband Ray Campbell, and Sharon Alestalo with her husband Erkki Alestalo -- and family will celebrate her life at a memorial service by the Very Reverend Denis Brunelle at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Saturday, July 29, at 2:30 PM. The church is located at 18 James Lane in East Hampton. All who knew her are invited to attend.

Burial will follow at about 3:30 PM at Cedar Lawn Cemetery on Cooper Lane. 

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.

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