Claire Leighton Rand Grindel


November 1931 to May 2020

She was a wild, wonderful, wacky woman; a mom, wife, friend, lover, artist and poet. She did a remarkable job with a large bunch of people under her wing. All have flown OK on their own. There’s no better tribute than that. She was proud of her children, Bruce, David, Brenda, Scott, Valerie, Frank and Joseph; also, James, Malcolm and Richard; grandchildren, John, Melissa, Lisa, Kate, Jazz and Alexander; and, of course, great-grandchildren, Tori, Madeline and Taylor.

She was predeceased by her parents, Earl and Vesta Rand, beloved husband, Hugh Malcolm Grindel, and son, Bruce.

Claire had special friends — you know who you are, but I must mention her niece Judy, who held a special place in her heart.

Claire attended school in Monroe, then went on to Boston to study legal and medical secretarial skills. She was the clerk of courts in Bar Harbor for the state of Maine for 18-plus years, then a master medical transcriptionist at EMMC. When she retired from EMMC, she returned to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in art and art history.

She was described as having a wondrous spirit, and she attended MANY Episcopal churches in Maine (mostly Bar Harbor, Belfast and Brewer). In addition, she enjoyed Bible study and discussion with the Episcopal Diocese Cursillos. Claire was a member of Eastern Star and Daughters of the King. She ran with the Red Hat Ladies group, “Airline Queens,” and attended pow-wows to participate in drumming.

When we were small, she directed us in acting out Three Billy Goats Gruff and Three Little Pigs at 3 Albert Meadow in Bar Harbor. How lucky we were! She taught us to find sea glass, seashells and sand dollars. We hiked Acadia, walked the Carriage Roads and the Shore Path. She had a happy marriage to Hugh and they were often seen holding hands while walking to McCleod’s/Careys or Westend Drug for coffee. Later it was the Drydock in Winterport and Amherst General Store.

Even when the dementia stole her independence, she maintained her smile, her wit and her love of music. She could be seen dancing at Sonogee and Armando’s well into her 80s. Thank you to staff at both Sonogee and Armando’s.

A special thank you to CHCS Hospice nurses Annabelle, Gail and Kristie and to Dr. Atkins, and MOST especially to health aid Angie, who loved her too.

If possible, please join us in celebrating Claire on June 29, 2020, at 11 a.m., at Pilgrims Cemetery in Monroe. If you are not able to attend, please think of her and spend time with loved ones. “If you spot some hollow ancient eye don’t just stop and stare, say hello in there, hello,” (lyrics by John Prine).

Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Know when to pay your respects.