Claire Gagnon, SP

Aug 12, 1919 – Nov 17, 2018

Claire Gagnon SP obituary image 1




(Sister Marcelle Odile)

Sister Claire Gagnon, age 99, a Sister of Providence for 79 years, died November 17, 2018, at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, WA.  Vigil Service:  Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 6:30 PM, and Funeral Mass & Reception:  Monday, November 26, 2018, at 11:00 AM, both at St. Joseph Residence, 4800 37th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA.  Burial will be on Monday, November 26, 2018, at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, WA, following the Mass and reception. Bonney Watson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Marie-Claire Gagnon was born August 12, 1919 to Benoit and Odile (Perreault) Gagnon, in St. Prosper, Quebec, Canada.  She was the sixth of seven children.  Marie-Claire entered the Sisters of Providence in November 1938 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and in May 1939 she became a novice.  She professed first vows in 1940 and received the name Sister Marcelle Odile, and then was sent to Sacred Heart Province in Seattle. In November 1943 she professed final vows. 

In 1951, Sister Claire earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Seattle University.  Later she received certification as a Pastoral Associate from Chaplain Services, United States Catholic Conference, WA, D.C.  She was also a member, officer and administrator of numerous WA state and national hospital associations and councils from 1961-74.

Sister Claire’s first ministry from 1940-51 was as an infirmary companion, student nurse and laboratory technician in Washington:  Seattle - Mount St. Vincent and Providence Medical Center; Yakima - St. Elizabeth Hospital; and in Oregon:  Medford Medical Center.  Then from 1951-74 her ministry was in medical supervision and administration in Washington:  Walla Walla – St. Mary Hospital; Yakima – St. Elizabeth Hospital; and Olympia – St. Peter Hospital.  In Oregon: Portland – St. Vincent Medical Center; and Medford - Providence Medical Center.

In 1974, Sr. Claire completed her clinical pastoral education in San Francisco, California, and then from 1975-2003 she served in pastoral ministry for 28 years at Providence Alaska Medical Center, in Anchorage, where she began the chaplaincy program.  In 2003, the new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) dedicated a special room in honor of Sr. Claire.

In 2003 Sr. Claire retired and moved to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, where she enjoyed and cherished spending time with friends and her sisters in community. 

Sr. Claire is preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her cousin, Rita Ebacher, from Ste. Anne de la Perade, Quebec.  

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue SW, #9016, Renton, WA 98057-9016. 


Barbara A. Miller-Cox
Seattle, , Wa
Nov 26, 2018

Sr. Claire was my dear, dear friend while she lived in SJR. At first I was her caregiver, but later on after I retired from SJR (after putting in 28 years of service) we became steadfast friends for several years. We shared a deep friendship from a couple perspectives: One as a Providence Associate and the other as a friend. She knew of my husband Stuart and my 3 sons: Seth, Sean, and Steve. My youngest son was named after Mother Joseph (his middle name). We shared everything! We prayed together, laughed and cried. She really liked our dog Maggie Mae. When St. Francis of Assisi's feast day came up in October, we picked her up and took her to MSV's blessing of the animals ceremony. When Maggie received her blessing from Father, she bowed down and Sr. Claire thought that was so wonderful. She and my family shared a love of animals on a regular basis. I will never, ever forget the love we all shared for her! It's quite difficult for me to go on without her, but I must! We will see eachother in Heaven and she will be laughing and happy---so will I and my family. Rest in Peace, my friend!

Kathleen Meggitt
Anchorage, AK
Nov 25, 2018

I remember Sister Claire fondly from the years I served in the Providence Hospital (Anchorage) Auxiliary. She always had a smile, an amazing sense of humor, and was a lovely woman. I will miss her.

Jerry and Faye Truskowski
Auburn, WA
Nov 23, 2018

You are still one of our special people. We will always love you. Rest in a well deserved peace!

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.