Cover photo for Claire E. Canavan's Obituary
Claire E. Canavan Profile Photo

Claire E. Canavan

CLIFTON PARK – Claire Elizabeth Canavan, 62, of Clifton Park, passed away on Thursday, January 22, 2015.  Claire was recently diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma and despite her impassioned fight she passed away with her family by her side at the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital.  Claire was born as Claire Harris in Elizabeth, NJ, the daughter of the late Robert E. & Dorothy Harris.  Claire was one of eight children and her family moved several times for her father’s job, spending time in New Jersey, Ohio and California before her family finally settled in Clifton Park in 1967.  She was a graduate of Notre Dame – Bishop Gibbons High School, and Siena College, class of 1974.  She was employed for a time by the Colonie Coliseum, and worked in pharmaceutical sales before her children were born.  After the birth of Claire’s first two children she entered real estate sales in 1982, and was employed by Realty USA until the time of her death.  Claire had sold thousands of homes to families across the capital region and she greatly enjoyed everyone she met and worked with.

Claire is survived by a large family that she loved dearly; her sons Joseph Canavan (married to his wife Kate in 2007) of Wellesley MA, and Sean Canavan & Christopher Canavan, both of Clifton Park; her former husband Edward Canavan of Clifton Park; her brothers and sisters and their spouses Thomas and Marianne Harris of Colleyville, TX, Jean Samstag of Summerville, SC, Daniel and Joan Harris of Ft. Edward, Michael and Jacqueline Harris of Brattleboro, VT, Margaret and Francis Legac of Gansevoort, Cecilia and Carmen Lafalce of Albany, and Kathleen Devine of N. Ft. Myers, FL; and by many nieces and nephews.  One of Claire’s greatest joys in recent years was spending time with her granddaughters Evelyn (2) & Anna (4 months) Canavan.

Claire was always a selfless person who put the needs of others ahead of herself.  This was most highly exemplified when she ran into the burning house of a neighbor to get everyone out.  Claire’s actions that day saved the lives of her neighbor’s daughter and her friends. Claire’s selfless acts were also a part of her everyday life.  Whether offering to cover a shift for a co-worker or sitting by the side of a sick family member she was always helping others.  Her selfless approach to life applied in spades to her family who can all recall their own personal time that Claire picked them up and helped them move forward in life.  We will greatly miss her, but her spirit of selflessness and caring for others will live on within everyone she touched.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Sacred Heart Church, 50 Mohican Street, Lake George, on Saturday February 7th at 11:00am.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Ronald McDonald House at Albany Medical Center – 139 South Lake Avenue, Albany, New York 12208 |  518-438-2655.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hans Funeral Home, Albany.  To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit

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