Juanita June (Spooner) Claflin, age 82, entered her final journey into eternal life to join her husband of 64 years, John, on February 1, 2021. She passed from “Broken Heart Syndrome” and Covid-19.
Juanita was born at home in Fayston, VT on February 12, 1938 the third of 14 children to Alonzo and June (McCullough) Spooner. She lived in Fayston until moving to Topsham, VT.
Juanita attended elementary school in Fayston and Topsham. In order to accommodate transportation needs to high school, Juanita lived with her uncle Fred and aunt Edna Spooner for 4 years, and graduated from Bradford (VT) Academy in 1956. As an adult learner in 1996, Juanita attended Champlain College and graduated with an associate’s degree in Tourism and Travel.
On July 20, 1956 Juanita married the love of her life, John Melvin Claflin and their relationship was one of true commitment to each other; setting an example to be admired. They made their home in East Topsham where they raised four children. In 1987 they moved to Ben Dexter Road and built a new home. In 2006 John and Juanita moved to Ocala, FL to accommodate John’s declining health.
Juanita was employed in numerous jobs, Vermont Tables in Groton, VT, Cooley Construction, Sprague Electric, Bowen Hunter Bobbin Co., Milne Travel Agency, Americor, the area Office on Aging, Oxbow Senior Independence Project, Maska USA, and the Town of Topsham as town clerk and treasurer from 2000-2004.
Juanita had a strong sense of community and participated in numerous activities. She served on the Topsham School Board at the time of the formation of the Union 36 District and building of the school 1968-1978, and returned to the school board in 1983-1986. She was always available to help with community suppers or any project, which needed volunteer help. For a number of years, she was the leader of the Topsham 4-H Club. She and John were members of the In-Between’s Club.
She was a remarkable seamstress making the majority of her and her family’s clothes, as well as many a wedding dress. She loved to make the annual Christmas mittens and socks for her grandchildren, and other’s she considered her grandchildren. She loved traveling and camping. Juanita was very proud that she had sponsored and accompanied each of her grandchildren to a trip to Disney World in Florida. She was always available to play a game of cribbage of Five Crowns. She loved to learn by reading or by conversation with others. She will be remembered by her willingness to give of herself, to all she came in contact with.
Preceding Juanita were her husband, John by one week, her parents, Alonzo and June Spooner, a grandson, Shawn Claflin, three brothers, Benjamin, Forrest and Alonzo, Jr. Spooner, a sister, Ester Phillips, and a son-in-law, Bryan Taylor.
Juanita is survived by four children, Timothy Claflin and companion, Barbara Watters of Williamstown, VT, Tammy Vaughan and husband, Steward of Newbury, VT, Terry Claflin and wife, Linda of Topsham, VT, Tina Taylor of Ocala, FL, 14 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 3 brothers, James Spooner and wife, Georgiana of Topsham, VT, Anthony Spooner and wife, Cynthia of Topsham, VT, and Thomas Spooner and wife Terry of Orange, VT, 6 sisters, Patricia Johnson of Braintree, VT, Ramona Miller of Ocala, FL, Linda Smith Riddell of Ocala, FL, Victoria Cameron and husband, Bruce of Ocala, FL, Rebecca Spooner of Barre, VT, Maureen Abare of Topsham, VT, a sister-in-law, Leona Spooner of Rowe, MA, her 101 year old uncle, Fred Spooner of Bradford, VT, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, a multitude of friends, and a community that she though of as part of her extended family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Juanita’s family request donations to the Topsham Historical Society, in care of Elaine Smith, 88 East Orange Road, West Topsham, VT 05086. For more information or to offer condolences, please visit Hale Funeral Home in Bradford, VT.
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