Clare M Burnett

Clare Burnett, of Fairfield, passed away peacefully in her home of natural causes on Saturday, May 7th, 2022.

She was the beloved wife of her “Georgie”, Gregg Burnett, who predeceased her, and the loving mother of her twin children, Jane and John. The daughter of Thomas F. McDonnell, Sr. and Jane R. McDonnell, Clare was born in Manhattan on November 16th, 1955. She attended the Dominican Academy in New York and, after graduating high school, earned a B.A. in English at the College of New Rochelle, where she met many lifelong friends. She married her husband in 1982, and they lived together in Manhattan for years before settling down in Fairfield to raise their twins. Clare spent the bulk of her career at TIAA-CREF in Manhattan, before finishing her professional career as a first-grade aide at St. Thomas Aquinas School. A woman of deep religious commitment, Clare was a long-time member of the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Fairfield, and took great comfort in her faith.

Clare had an abiding passion for culture and the arts. Having begun her working career as a Broadway usher alongside her beloved mother and Aunt Mimi, she loved the theater all her life, and regularly attended both plays and the opera with her family and friends. She shared her father’s love for the great American musical standards, and could also often be found listening to classical music. She worked tirelessly to support her husband Gregg’s efforts to bring traditional Irish music to Fairfield County, and personally hosted dozens of concerts in their home. Like Gregg, she was also an avid reader. One of her deepest loves, which she discovered somewhat later in life, was caring for her dogs, Red, Cooper, and Nina, to whom she would often spontaneously burst out into song.

Much like her husband Gregg, Clare’s greatest passion of all was her family. She selflessly devoted her life to her twins, creating the most loving home anyone could ask for.  She is survived by her children, Jane and John Burnett, her brothers, Chris, John, and Thomas McDonnell, and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held at Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12th. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Fairfield, on Friday, May 13th at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery. The Burnett family would prefer donations in her memory made to either: St. Thomas Aquinas Church ( or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (

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