WORCESTER - Dr. Claire Quintal of Worcester died on April 30th in St. Vincent Hospital, two days after her 90th birthday following a brief decline in health.
She was renowned as a French scholar, internationally and nationally known speaker, author, editor, and translator.
In her academic career, she was a college and university professor and Founder, emerita, of the French Institute at Assumption College,
Dr. Quintal was born in Central Falls, RI, to Armand and Helene (Messier) Quintal and was the eldest of six children. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Armand and her sister, Marcelle (Quintal) Arthur. She leaves her sister, Sister Rollande Quintal, Sisters of St. Anne, of Worcester, her brother Henry and his wife Marilyn Quintal of Florida and her sister Cecile Quintal of Albuquerque, New Mexico; nieces and nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews; cousins and other extended family members.
With an endless love for learning, Claire earned academic degrees with highest honors: a B.A. degree in French from Anna Maria College, an M.A. degree from the University of Montreal and a PhD degree from the University of Paris.
She taught at the secondary school level in Central Falls, RI and at the college and university levels in Paris at the American College, in Worcester at Assumption College, where she also served as Dean of the Graduate School and at Clark University in Worcester.
She has received honorary degrees from Assumption College in Worcester, her alma mater, Anna Maria College in Paxton and St. Michael’s College in Winooski, VT.
Claire Quintal is a Chevalier of France’s Legion of Honor and is also an Officer in its National Order of Merit.
She stood proudly among the first group of Americans to be awarded the Congressionally-sponsored Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986.
Claire worked on the creation and dedication of the Franco American Monument in Quebec. The monument was erected for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city and celebrates the strong cultural and economic ties between Quebec and New England.
In retirement as in her more active years, idle was not in her vocabulary. She turned her attention to translating, lecturing, and writing and was a consultant to former colleagues and French academics in need of her wide expertise.
It has been written that it would take a 500 page biography to do justice to Claire Quintal. Claire Quintal was a loving, supportive, mentoring and encouraging big sister to her siblings, and a role model to the next generations and extended family. She was loyal and devoted, a generous and endearing friend, a proud Franco-American woman who enjoyed life and her death will be grieved as a major loss.
In accord with current restrictions due to the pandemic, funeral services were private. Family and friends will gather in Claire’s memory at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dr. Claire Quintal Memorial Scholarship Fund at Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA. Arrangements are in the care of Rice Funeral Home, 300 Park Ave. Worcester, MA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Claire H. Quintal, please visit our floral store.
Dr. Claire Quintal Memorial Scholarship Fund - Anna Maria College
50 Sunset Ln, Paxton MA 01612