Cover photo for Claudette M. Yackowski's Obituary
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1942 Claudette 2020

Claudette M. Yackowski

January 20, 1942 — July 19, 2020

Claudette M. (Thompson) Yackowski, 78, of Templeton, joined the choir of angels on Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Quabbin Valley Healthcare, Athol, after a long illness.

Born in Biddeford, ME on January 20, 1942, she was the first-born daughter of Frederick and Pauline Thompson. She spent her formative years with her family in Saco, ME, until the time of her marriage to George Yackowski of Otter River, MA on August 3, 1968. They moved to Gardner to start their new lives and raise a family. They eventually settled into their home in Templeton.

Claudette was educated by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary at Notre Dame de Lourdes School and graduated with honors from Thornton Academy in 1960. From there she worked as an office manager for Dr. Thomas Anton where she developed her skills as a medical transcriptionist. She became a homemaker following the birth of their children, Kimberly and Frederick, later working for local pharmacies.

Claudette grew up at a time when owning a television was a luxury. Her family did not have one for a long time, but instead enjoyed sing-alongs with her mother at the piano. A little-known fact about Claudette is that as a young girl, she had a beautiful soprano singing voice. Yes, her sisters say that “she could have been an Opera Star, “if she had chosen that life path." She would never admit to it, but the experts say it is indeed true.

Giving birth to their children Kimberly and later to Fred, fulfilled a dream that became her magnum opus of a lifetime. Family meant everything to Claudette. The early years with Kim and Fred brought the greatest joys, however, sadly the passing of Kim at age seven, brought some of the greatest pain.

Claudette’s strength can not be overstated. She has given life all that she could. Yet above it all has been the guiding light of sharing life with George, and the shining light of having Fred. She was so proud to see him graduate from college. More recently, she had great appreciation for his commitment to years of being a full-time caregiver to both she and George.

Claudette enjoyed meeting people and participating in community and church events during healthier times. She enjoyed crafts and loved sharing her hand made ribbon roses. Good food was always appreciated, and no team was better than her New England Patriots. Her affinity for butterflies was believed to be a special connection to Kim’s spirit.

Claudette and George were married for over 52-years. They enjoyed family gatherings, and especially trips to Maine where they loved to feast on Maine seafood. Ken’s clam cakes, lobster rolls and ‘Pier Fries’ in Old Orchard Beach are just a few of many. They also occasionally traveled to Foxwoods, where Claudette surprisingly got lucky with winning a jackpot. George on the other hand, being a smart man, would never divulge how much money he brought or how much he returned with.

Upon moving to Massachusetts Claudette worked at Heywood Hospital, was a retail clerk at Woolworth’s, Edward’s Pharmacy, and Carol Koski’s Craft Shop in East Templeton.

Claudette is survived by her husband of 52-years, George Yackowski; son Frederick Yackowski; sisters Joanne Twomey and Suzanne Murphy and her husband Bob; sister-in-law, Frances Yackowski; nephews Sean, Josiah and Keith Murphy. Shawn and Christopher Twomey; grand-nephews Brady and Zachary Twomey and Casey and Cameron Twomey; and a grand-niece, Dora Claire Murphy. She was predeceased by her daughter Kimberly Ann Yackowski. 

Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in Annunciation Parish at Holy Spirit Chapel, 50 Lovewell Street, Gardner, MA. Burial will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery, Patriots Road, Templeton, MA.

There are no calling hours.

Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, restrictions currently set in by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be in place at Claudette’s service. 

Memorial Contributions can be made to St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105; or Leukemia Society of America, 495 Old Connecticut Path, Suite 205, Framingham, MA, 01701; or Boston Children’s Hospital Trust , 1 Autumn Street, #731, Boston, MA, 02215-5301. Please reference in memory of Claudette Yackowski.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claudette M. Yackowski, please visit our flower store.


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