Claire R. McGrail Profile Photo
1937 Claire 2022

Claire R. McGrail

November 27, 1937 — September 7, 2022



LEICESTER: Claire R. (Beaudreau) McGrail, 84, of Main Street in Leicester died Wednesday, Sept. 7, peacefully at home.


She leaves her five sons, John McGrail III and his partner, Michelle, of Leicester; William McGrail Jr. and his wife, Mary Kay, of Worcester; Dennis McGrail and his wife, Jennifer, of Leicester; Brian McGrail of Worcester and Brendan McGrail and his wife, Rebecca, of East Dover, Vt.; her two daughters, Kathlene McGrail and her husband, Howard, of Lexington; and Christine McGrail of Leicester; 16 grandchildren: Max, Charlotte, Annalise, Erin, Jackson, Matthew (and wife, Sarah), Timothy, Jacob, Sean, Patrick, Jane, Atticus, Amelia, Owen, Morgan and William III; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.


She also leaves three brothers: Paul Beaudreau and his wife, Susan, of Cotuit; Richard Beaudreau and his companion, Beverly Renaud, of West Boylston, and Donald Beaudreau and his wife, Mary, of Holden. She was predeceased by her twin sister, Carol Boucher, and baby brother, Robert Beaudreau. Her husband of 54 years, William McGrail Sr., passed away in 2013.


Claire was born and raised in Worcester, daughter of the late Alfred and Phyllis (Casey) Beaudreau. She began high school at Commerce High in Worcester, but after the 1954 tornado her family moved to Oxford, where she graduated from Oxford High School. A brilliant student with a penchant for perfect grammar, she spent her career in medical transcription for hospitals throughout Worcester. Claire was never far from a book, and could invariably be found at the Leicester Library or Barnes & Noble, armed with her latest stack of gift cards. Any shelf space unoccupied by her novels was stacked with family photos – continually mounting evidence of a life truly blessed by the family she adored.


Claire was one of the last great epistlers, keeping in touch with countless people throughout her entire life, never missing an opportunity to send a handwritten note or card to friends and family across the world. And even as the family grew exponentially, Claire’s thoughtful cards never forgot a birthday, anniversary or holiday. She missed her true calling in life, to be a librarian, yet inspired generations of bibliophiles, keeping family and friends reading with an endless supply of books. A lifelong sesquipedalian, Claire loved an obscure word and was a lifelong learner who could compete with the best at Jeopardy or the Scripps spelling bee. Her daily crosswords were completed in ink.


Following her husband’s death, she moved into senior housing in Leicester, where she spent her final years chatting with her dearest friends, voraciously reading, and sharing endless photos and stories of her beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Leicester Library.



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