The picture above was taken at the backdoor of her home in Portsmouth, Frontenac County, Ontario. Claire was 19.
Happy Birthday to my mother Claire Beaupre Keane born on April 27th, 1918. She was the youngest of 15 children to Peter Moffat Beaupre (1860-1956) and Helen Magdalene Small (1882-1969). At the time of her birth her father was 56 years old and her mother was 36. Her eldest brother Stanislas John Beaupre (1881-1949) was 37. Peter Moffat Beaupre had 2 wives, Claire was born the youngest child of the second marriage.
Claire was the apple of her father’s eye, probably because she was the baby and because the 5 children before her were all boys. Claire once told me that her mother, Helen preferred girls, so that each time she became pregnant she would pick out girl’s names. When the children turned out to be boys, she just saved the chosen girl’s names so that when my mother was born she was named Claire Zita Martina Teresa Helen Bridget Mary Ann! Of course officially she was christened Claire Zita Beaupre. When Claire’s older siblings went traveling or off to war, they would write home to little Claire and address the envelope with all 9 of her names.
When the picture above was taken, her father was 6’4″ in a time when the average height of men was 5’7″. Her mother was approximately 5’8″ when the average height of women was 5’5″. Claire by this time had grown into a statuesque beauty of 5’10”. An amazon in her generation. Lucky for her, she met and married Basil Derek Keane (1920-1972) who was 6’4″ tall.