Clair Marie Moran



image of Clair Marie Moran

1930 – 2021

Clair Marie Moran peacefully passed in her home in Kirkland, Washington at the age of 91.  Clair was born May 25, 1930, in Paterson, New Jersey, the youngest of 6 children born to William and Mercedes Kessel, with two older brothers (Joe and Bill) and three older sisters (Eileen, Mercedes, and Doris).  Clair was raised a devout Catholic and learned dance (tap and ballet) at a young age; gifts that would characterize her long and richly textured life.

Young Clair was a very quick learner and began teaching tap and ballet while still in elementary school, herself taking lessons from one of The Rockettes from Radio City Music Hall fame.  This was during the peak of the Shirley Temple era and Clair’s father had built steps as a stage prop so that Clair could emulate those challenging dance steps made famous by Fred Astaire.

Clair met future husband Nicholas Moran in the 4th grade at St. Bonaventure Catholic school; and they began dating in their 2nd year of high school.  Nicholas worked at the soda fountain counter at a local pharmacy, and Clair used to come in and have him make her favorite, a banana split.  Clair also enjoyed being a cheerleader for their school.  They graduated together from St. Bonaventure High School in 1947, with Clair as class Valedictorian.

Clair and Nicholas married on January 20, 1951 (she was 20; Nicholas 21).  Clair worked in the accounting department of Wright’s Aeronautical; later utilizing her keen bookkeeping skills working for Planner Systems, her daughter’s family business for a decade.  In between and throughout her life, Clair was selflessly devoted to her eight children: Claire, Nancy, Elizabeth, Peggy, Nick, Mike, Dan, and Marianne.  She was a remarkable matriarch also affectionately called “Mom” by the spouses of her children; and “Grandma” to the growing extended family which upon her passing reached to 28 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren.

Clair continued to enjoy dance into her middle years, partnering with Nicholas as he became a square dance caller and Clair would assist by helping direct the round dancing, demonstrating the grace and beauty that she cultivated from a lifetime of dance.  In her later years, Clair continued to inspire younger generations of the “Moran Clan” by leading such favorites as the “Bunny Hop”, “Macarena”, and “Jingle Bell Rock” at large family holiday gatherings that originally rotated from among the homes of her eight children; but eventually out-grew any one home and became annual events at a big, rented hall that could accommodate the large, ever-growing four-generation family.

All along, Clair set an example of a faithful Catholic by attending daily Mass and starting up the first Rosary group at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, Washington.  Clair cherished her faith and counted among her favorite days those special occasions when a grandchild was baptized or received First Holy Communion.

It is a blessing and a testament to how Clair was genuinely loved and adored that, upon her peaceful passing on September 9th in their family home of 46 years in Kirkland, she was enveloped by the love and devotion of her husband of 70 years and all her children.

Clair is survived by her husband Nicholas, and children (spouses) Clair, Nancy, Elizabeth (Steve), Peggy (Mark), Nick (Theresa), Mike (Susan), Dan (Renata), and Marianne (Dan); and those 28 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren.  Rest in peace Clair, knowing you have left a remarkable and enduring legacy!





Rosary & Viewing

11:30 am – 12:15 pm, Thursday, September 16, 2021
Holy Family Catholic Church
7045 NE 120th
Kirkland, WA 98033


Funeral Mass

12:30 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021
Celebrant:  Fr. Brian Dolejsi
First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9: “As sacrificial offerings he took them to himself” (Claire Dainard, daughter)

Second Reading: Romans 6:3-4: “We too might live in the newness of life” (Nick Moran, son)

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation”

Prayers of the Faithful (Marianne Peterson, daughter)

Cantor: Tobin Randall

Piano: Mitchell Price


1.       Entrance: “On Eagle’s Wings”
2.       Preparation of the gifts: “Immaculate Mary”
3.       Communion: “Panis Angelicus” (Latin)
4.       Recessional hymn: “Soon and Very Soon”



Holy Rood Cemetery (following Funeral Mass)
205 NE 205th Street
Shoreline, WA 98155


One Response to “Clair Marie Moran”

  • Janis Bombacie says:

    Such an amazing life, woman, mom, wife, etc. An inspiration to everyone who ever met her. Im one of those fortunate people.

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