In Loving Memory of Claire Drapkin: A Compassionate Educator and Devoted Matriarch
It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Claire Drapkin, a beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, who left us on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. Surrounded by the love of her family, Claire's journey came to an end, leaving behind cherished memories that will forever resonate in the hearts of those whose lives she touched.
Claire Regina Drapkin, 86, of Manchester Township, NJ passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at Bartley Healthcare Center in Jackson, NJ. She was born in New York City, NY, daughter of Louis and Paula Rapp.
Claire's devotion to her family was unparalleled. As a mother of four, she poured boundless love and support into each of her children, nurturing them with care and wisdom as they grew. Her role as a grandmother brought her immense joy, and she cherished every moment spent with her ten grandchildren, creating lasting memories that will be treasured forever. The arrival of two great-grandchildren only deepened her sense of joy and purpose, and she embraced this new chapter of life with an open heart.
Early in her career, Claire was an entrepreneur selling Avon, World Book Encyclopedia and owning Creative Decor, an interior decorating company. She was an instrumental participant in fundraising for the Freehold Area Hospital (now CentraState Healthcare System). She founded and organized the Youth Group, a division of the fundraising campaign. Targeting pediatrics, she founded “Pets for Pediatrics” and raised the funds for the first pediatric incubator for the hospital by selling her family kittens and others’ pets in front of the local supermarkets. Claire went on to become a dedicated educator for all populations, including children with special needs and she earned her Teacher of the Handicapped and Masters in Education. Later in her career she excelled as a “President’s Club” representative for Modern Curriculum Press, a text book company. Claire shared her creativity in her roles as Educational Consultant and Creative Writer on several Education CD-ROM titles. Claire held the position of the Director/Educational Coordinator at SCHI in Lakewood, NJ. Later in her career Claire was the founder and principal of the Youth Group Advocates an educational consulting practice, helping children and families navigate the school systems.
Claire is survived by her loving husband, Martin; her son and daughter-in-law Michael and Jennifer Drapkin of Phoenix, AZ; her daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Samuel “Dusty” Micale of Burlington, ON, Canada; her other daughter Rachel Cocozza of Freehold, NJ; her son David Drapkin of Manchester, NJ; her brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Evey Rapp of Southport, NC; her ten grandchildren, Amy and Adam Sacks, Julie, Matthew, Joshua, and Arianna Drapkin; Arielle and Adam Cocozza; Sedona and Benjamin Micale; and two great-grandchildren, Jayden and Kayla Sacks.
Claire had the unique ability to nurture and inspire any who sought her wisdom.
A private graveside service will be Thursday morning, July 27, 2023, at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Marlboro, NJ. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Freeman Manalapan-Marlboro Funeral Home, 344 Route 9 North, Manalapan, NJ 07726. To leave a message of condolence, please visit our website at www.freemanfuneralhomes.com.