CANNING, CLAIRE (DeBLOIS) of Portsmouth and formerly of Pawtucket passed into eternal life surrounded by her children on April 15, 2017. She was the beloved wife of the late Joseph P. Canning Jr., for 54 years. Mrs. Canning was born in Pawtucket, the daughter of Arthur J. DeBlois Sr. and Loretta B. DeBlois. She was a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart, now Boston College. Claire was an advocate for families, caregivers and individuals with developmental disabilities. Together with her husband Joe, she received the John Fogarty Founders Award from the then Rhode Island Association of Retarded Citizens and the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island. Mrs. Canning and her husband Joe authored The Gift of Martha, for which they received the Down Syndrome Congress Meritorious Service Award. She co-authored with Dr. Siegfried M. Pueschel, Down Syndrome, Growing and Learning and A Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome; Toward a Brighter Future. Claire was a member of the Newport Art Museum and attended open studio classes there. She was a member Alliance Francaise of Newport. She was a Parishoner of St. Lucy's Catholic Faith Community in Middletown, Rhode Island where she was a Eucharistic Minister. A constant proponent of lifelong learning, Claire was a member of the Circle of Scholars at Salve Regina University. Claire is survived by her children; Lauren C. Howroyd of Manchester, Ct, and the late Jay T. Howroyd, Paula C. Bye of Methuen, Ma., and Peter J. Canning and his wife Deborah of Plainville, Ma. Mrs. Canning is survived by ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She was the mother of the late beloved Martha H. Canning, and Joseph P. Canning III, who is survived by his wife Janet Canning. She was the sister of the late Charles H. DeBlois. Claire is also survived by her brothers, Arthur J. DeBlois Jr., and Robert E. DeBlois. The funeral for Mrs. Canning will be Friday at 10:00 am from the Manning-Heffern Funeral Home, 68 Broadway, Pawtucket. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial in Pope John-Paul II Parish Church (St. Cecilia's) 750 Central Avenue, Pawtucket at11:30 am. Her burial will be with her husband Joe in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence. The calling hours for Claire will be Thursday from 4-7 pm in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Martha's former home, Jiley Hill Home, Recreation Fund, 73 Jiley Hill Drive, Tiverton, Rhode Island, 02878. For online condolences please visit www.manningheffern.com .
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