For 21 years I've been privileged to share a life with a strong woman, Claire Marie-Claude Gunst May. Born September 1, 1949 in Paris, Ile-de-France, France, her early life explains a lot about her and her resilience. |
Her father was charged with rebuilding the cities of the Republique du Senegal after the war. Due to primitive conditions in Africa, she spent many years in Switzerland in boarding school. The family reunited in Paris, and she continued her education at Nanterre. For many years, she practiced weaving. She had a career as museum-keeper at Musee de la Faiencerie, a noted pottery at Gien in the Loire Valley. In 1995, she decided to travel. Fate led her and an Argentinian friend to travel the Southwest. She perceived the beauties of Ignacio, which derailed her plans to aid the indigenous people of northwest Argentina. That same fate led us to marriage. She helped me raise two fine children. Everyone she met was touched by her vivacity. Her artistic skills blossomed as she explored new media and made new friends in the New World.
A fast-moving cancer struck her in late January. After palliative measures, she rested quietly at home till her passing on February 1, 2017. She died at peace with the world. She is survived by her husband Chris May, stepson Johnny May and his wife Rhea, and two brothers in France, Alain and Jean-Claude Gunst. We all will be much poorer without her.
A memorial service will be held in Claire's honor on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Hood Mortuary Chapel in Durango, CO. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the Dancing Spirit Community Arts Gallery, P.O. Box 414, Ignacio CO 81137-0414.
Published in The Durango Herald on Feb. 2, 2017