Claire Ruth Colpitts, 55, of Prineville passed away on Thursday May 16, 2019. There was a Celebration of Life held at Regency of Prineville Friday May 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM.
Claire was born on May 18, 1964 in Anchorage, Alaska to Glenn Laroy and Helen Lenore (Powers) Colpitts. She graduated from Wooster High School in Reno, Nevada in 1983.
The following are in Claire’s own words from an interview she had in 1997 with the Iditarod Runner, the official magazine of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race:
“Hi, my name is Claire Colpitts and I was an Idita-Rider in the 25th anniversary running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Due to lifelong medical conditions, I had major surgery seven years ago in which I almost lost my life. Although I was losing my eyesight prior to my surgery, in August, 1990 I became totally blind. Through assistance from Hope Cottages and the Center for Blind Adults, I have been able to live on my own again. For the last two years I have lived in my own apartment in Anchorage.
It has always been a dream of mine to participate in the Iditarod and to see the winner cross the finish line in Nome. And this year I was able to fulfill both those dreams. I rode with rookie musher Susan Amundson at the start of the race. Susan was very helpful by describing the trail including where all the bumps were! Not only was Susan a very nice lady, she had a great sense of humor!
On Saturday, March 8, I flew off to Nome. During my stay at the Ocean View Manor, a local bed and breakfast, I had the opportunity to meet the friendly people of Nome. I also met volunteers from all over Alaska and the Lower 48. The workers at the Iditarod headquarters were very helpful, especially since I attempted to buy one of everything and kept them very busy. They managed to keep their sense of humor throughout those long days waiting for the first musher to cross the finish line! It sure was exciting to see Martin Buser win his third Iditarod. But the best thing was meeting my favorite musher, Susan Butcher, in a local restaurant!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those volunteers from the beginning of the race, especially, Michele, Jackie and Anne. With smiles on their faces and warm cups of coffee, they provided me with the extra assistance I needed. And, an extra big THANK YOU to Wrex who was a great help and put up with all my questions, IF I could catch him!
With my first race being such a great experience, I would LOVE to do it again!! Thank you all and I will always support ‘The Last Great Race’”!!”
Claire’s interview exemplifies the excitement she had for life. She was always excited to see her family and friends and brought joy to everyone in her life. The article also reflects Claire’s intense determination to achieve the goals she set for herself. Despite being blind, she achieved her dream to participate in the Iditarod and see the winner cross the finish line in Nome.
Claire was preceded in death by her father, Glenn Laroy Colpitts and her mother, Helen Lenore (Powers) Dominguez.
She is survived by her siblings and in-laws; Ena (Steve), Martha, Christine (Ron), Ava, Christopher (Anna), Guy (Sara) and Jolene as well as a very large extended family.
Whispering Pines Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 3168 NE 3rd Street ~ Prineville, Oregon 97754 541-416-9733 www.whisperingpinesfuneralhome.com
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