Obituary: Claudette Elena Paige

Claudette Elena Paige
October 25, 2022

March 2, 1942 – October 20, 2022

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 11:30 a.m., Claudette Elena Paige (nee Coats) made her transition to a better place. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, George; her daughter, Patricia; and her son, Gordon. She is also survived by her brothers Bill, Tom and Gary Coats and her grandchildren Madelyn and Lewis Paige.

Burial was a private ceremony at The Forest, a Natural Burial Ground. This is in keeping with Claudette’s long held belief that internment should be in a natural setting among the trees, native flowers and plants. A memorial may occur at a later date

Claudette was born in Redwood City, California, on March 2, 1942. Her parents were Ransel and Ramona Coats (nee Lincoln).

She grew up and went to schools in Redwood City. In her youth, she was a free spirit riding her bicycle far and wide. In high school she had the lead roles in many of the school’s dramatic productions. She was an honor student at Sequoia High School. She loved roller-skating and it was at the local roller-skating rink that she met George. In 1959 she left Redwood City after marrying George.

Claudette and George first lived in 28-foot trailer in Colma, California. She worked as temporary clerk before hiring on at the United Airlines Maintenance Base in South San Francisco. In spite of her youth, her skills were recognized and she became the secretary for the manager of the Manual Writing Department.

She left United to give birth to her daughter, but before she left United, a very pregnant Claudette took her mother, a paraplegic woman, and her father, both of which had never flown in an airplane, to Washington, D.C. It was a trip to recognize one of her parent’s desires. Claudette was always one to give to others.

In 1966, Claudette gave birth to Patricia, and in 1969 to Gordon. Claudette was a stay-at-home mother. She loved being involved in every aspect of her children’s lives.

The neighborhood was very close and the babysitting co-op was a real joy for her.

One of Claudette’s greatest achievements was as a representative of the Parent Participating Nursery Schools. On a visit to Sacramento to lobby for state support of nursery schools, she was asked by legislators to become involved in creating a new state program that would involve parents, teachers and school administrators in formulating a school district-wide plan for improving education. She not only worked with the state legislators in developing the plan, but then she typed the bill that was passed by the legislature. Claudette was always very embarrassed when her husband would relate this remarkable experience.

Claudette graduated Phi Kappa Phi from San Jose State University in 1983 with a degree of Bachelor of Science with Great Distinction in Health Science.

Claudette, with four other women, developed and taught Rhythm Fitness classes for the Palo Alto YMCA for many years. Dancing was one of Claudette’s great joys and to be able to create dances with her friends and teach them to others was very fulfilling.

When one of Claudette and George’s investments became very successful, they were advised that they needed to start a business and that they should have partners so that they would take the business seriously. It was Claudette’s idea that they should become Supercuts Franchisees. For 18 years Claudette would fly to Boston and oversee the six Supercuts salons, training the managers and 75-plus employees.

Upon moving to Grass Valley in 1992 she became very involved with the Sierra Center for Spiritual Living, a Religious Science church. She became a trustee of the church, but her happiness was singing. She had a wonderful voice and so enjoyed her role in the choir.

During the time in Grass Valley traveling in an Airstream trailer, attending Airstream club rallies and meeting new people made her so happy. She so loved seeing parts of the West in her own home on wheels with her dogs Dolly, Puck and Leo.

In 2018 she and George moved to Ashland, Oregon, building a smaller home. The move allowed her to become more involved in activities with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Live theater was a passion for Claudette. One of the most satisfying activities was her work with OSF helping to create a program to support the efforts of welcoming people of difference.

In 2020, Claudette was found to have lung cancer. An operation to remove the cancer was followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Her treatments had limited success, but eventually her weakened body could not stave off episodes of pneumonia. She died peacefully with her husband present.

It is requested that the only memorial Claudette would have wanted was that you remember her in your heart with love. The family requests that you do not call them. Do something good in the world that you will be proud of in her memory.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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