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William Howard Claflin

December 12, 1928 September 19, 2022
William Howard Claflin
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Obituary for William Howard Claflin

William Howard Claflin was born December 12, 1928, in Providence, Rhode Island to Harriet and Albert Claflin, and passed away September 19, 2022, in Providence. His sister, Betsy, and his brothers George and Bob, predeceased him.

  He was married on June 6, 1953 to Eunice Couch Claflin, who passed away on May 13, 2010. She was a 1952 Wellesley graduate in English literature. They had one son, Frederick Lyman Claflin, who passed away shortly after his birth.

  Bill was a member of Central Congregational Church. He served in many capacities, including being the head usher from 2000-2005. He was a Permanent Deacon, and served on the Prudential Committee and Building Committee. He also served for years as Parliamentarian for various local and denominational organizations of the United Church of Christ.

  He attended Moses Brown School in his youth, then entered Harvard in 1946. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in Architectural Sciences in 1950, and received his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning in 1952. Upon graduation, Bill entered the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, and left the Navy in December, 1955 as a Lieutenant JG. He and his wife, Eunice, started a lifetime of travel by booking a 55-day trip on RMS Queen Mary upon his leaving the Navy.

  He began his career in 1956 by working for the State of Rhode Island, doing Small Town Planning for the R.I. Development Council. He then took a position as Planning Director and then City Planner for the city of Pawtucket, R.I., from 1959 to 1967. In 1967, he joined the State of New York’s Office of Planning Coordination, where he and Eunice lived in Delmar, New York. In February, 1972, he accepted a position as Deputy Commissioner City Planner for the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the Department of City Development, where he worked until 1979.

  They returned to Rhode Island where Bill worked with United Way for some time. They bought the house on Irving Avenue, which they painted Mandarin Orange in color. This gained the property a certain renown, and this was their home for the remainder of their years.

  Bill and Eunice enjoyed being members of the Hope Club and Art Club of Providence, and were both active and vital participants in the work and mission of Central Congregational Church. Bill kept a lifelong communication and correspondence with many of his classmates from Moses Brown and Harvard.

  Bill had many friends who he saw on a regular basis. He was a gentleman, considered and thoughtful. He also brought a rigor to parliamentary proceedings. He was schooled in the proper way to conduct a business meeting, and was relied on many times by many individuals and organizations for this expertise.

  He leaves two nephews and a niece, and a number of grand nephews and nieces. Though he did not end up having children of his own, he actively took part in all of the greater family activities, and is fondly remembered for getting down on the floor with the kids to create structures from blocks and other materials, or for bailing water out of his sister’s sailing canoe while singing old show tunes.

  Bill will be buried at Swan Point Cemetery, next to his wife and his son with close family present.

  A Memorial Service will be held Monday, October 3rd at 11am in Central Congregational Church, 296 Angell Street in Providence to which relatives and friends are invited. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Central Congregational Church, 296 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906 

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11:00 AM 10/3/2022 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 10/3/2022 12:00:00 PM
Central Congregational Church

296 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906

Central Congregational Church
296 Angell Street Providence 02906 RI
United States

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