Saturday, July 31, 2010

Claudea Clow, A Tribute

Claudea Clow, 88, of Boston Road, formerly of Farm Hill Road, Middletown, died Thursday, July 22, 2010 at Middlesex Hospital surrounded by loving friends.  
      The only child of the late Claude and Roseanne (Neiser) Clow, she was born in Dallas, Texas but considered Dayton, Ohio her hometown.  Claudea was a sophisticated, independent, self-made woman who lived a fascinating and remarkable life.  She was a graduate of Ohio State University, earning a bachelor of arts degree in European history and a masters degree in political economy in the 1940s.  Bored with studying and with Ohio, she moved to New York City to study classical ballet and flamenco dance at the American Ballet Theater with Igor Schwezoff, formerly of the Original Ballet Ruse, and later with former Ballet Ruse member Jorg Fasting at the The Capital City Ballet in Columbus, Ohio.  While at Capital City, she helped train members of the Ohio State University football team in ballet technique under the orders of Coach Paul Brown, who felt his team was “too earth-bound.” Claudea said she got a kick out of seeing the players “fumble around” in ballet slippers and recalled, “the training did improve the team’s performance...or else.” 

      Claudea’s career as an editor began at the American University Press in Columbus.  When the company was purchased by Wesleyan University in 1953, she was forced to relocate to Middletown, Connecticut, much to her dismay.  She accepted the transfer only because of Middletown’s close proximity to New York City.  In between these assignments and “in the spirit of adventure and poverty,” she took two months off to explore Europe, which launched the beginning of a life-long love of world travel to many exotic locales including Morocco, Africa, India, Japan, Israel, China, Poland, Soviet Russia, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Singapore.  She made over 30 trips to London during her lifetime, taking in the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, the theater, and the fabulous shopping in Knightsbridge and Oxford Street.  

      Claudea’s career at the Wesleyan University Press spanned the 1960s and 1970s editing many books and articles.  She was a colleague of author William Manchester for several years, including the time just preceding his work on Death of a President.  They maintained contact throughout that long and difficult writing process.  

      In her later years, she enjoyed her friends at Heritage Commons, listening to National Public Radio, witnessing the restoration of her historic, brownstone home, and many sushi lunches at Japanica Restaurant in Middletown.  She was a patron of the arts including opera, sculpture, and theater, loved fashion, particularly Coco Chanel, Eames furniture, and 20th century Modern design.  She cared deeply for all animals, especially cats.  

      She was predeceased by former spouse Herbert Levine, MD, of Middletown and is survived by a close friend in Middletown.  She will be greatly missed.  

      Burial is planned in a columbarium (a vault to hold cremains) scheduled for installation at Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown at a later date.  Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Animals’ Respect and Friendship Fund through the Middlesex County Community Foundation, 211 South Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457.

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