DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — “May you stay forever young.”

Claire passed peacefully in Delray Beach, Fla., Wednesday, June 25, after a seven-month illness at the age of 92.

She was born to Isadore and Minnie Katz in Brooklyn, N.Y. She lived her early years in Brooklyn, attended Manual Training High School and met and married Martin Rifkin in 1945. In 1955, they moved to East Meadow, N.Y., where they lived until 1969. There they raised their two children, Bonnie and Michael, and nurtured their basset hound, the Dame of Marion.

Claire taught sewing at the Singer Sewing Machine Store in Levittown, wrote for the Lynbrook Leader, assisted in the publication of the Hofstra review, was active in the Temple Beth El sisterhood and played golf at the Mill River Country Club. In 1973, she completed an associate degree in advertising and communications in fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

In 1980, she endured the difficult illness and death of husband Marty, who passed in 1981. She began a new life with Sol Aronowitz, and in 1988 they married. For many years they enjoyed winters in Delray Beach and summers in East Hampton, N.Y. In 2005, Sol passed after years of poor health.

Throughout the years, Claire pursued numerous interests and passions. She acted professionally, painted, made jewelry and wrote.


The publication of her memoir in 2010, “When I Grow Up…I want to be an Actress,” was a source of great accomplishment and pride. It was a labor of love, and she often paid homage to her mentor, Emily Rosen, for her support and encouragement in getting the book completed. Many copies adorn the bookshelves of family, friends and fans, and serve to keep the memory of Claire alive.

Claire loved her family and never missed an opportunity to sing the praises of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Claire will be missed by her family: daughter, Bonnie, and her husband, Carl, son, Michael, and his wife, Laura; grandchildren Emily and husband, Mark, Benjamin and wife, Jamie, Jonathan and wife, Keri, and Julia and husband, David; and great-grandchildren Dylan, Mia, Sienna, Sadie, Luca, Cole and Nora.

She will be missed by her sister, Barbara, to whom Claire was greatly devoted.

Our family thanks Dr. Peter Cowen for the years of good medical care. We appreciate the love and attention provided by her caregivers from Dependable Seniors, especially Shondra, and the compassion and care shown by the staff from Trustbridge.

“Never give up” was her motto.

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