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Claire Bonney

Our lovely Claire passed away on 25th December 2023. Claire was 60 years old.

Claire was asleep in her bed when she died during a seizure. I, her partner, went to wake her on Christmas Day morning and found her unresponsive. The paramedics who attended said she had passed away several hours earlier.

Claire first experienced a seizure at the age of 7 while at school. She lived with epilepsy for the rest of her life but she was determined not to let it rule her life. In her teens and early twenties, Claire competed in diving, including the 10-metre board. She liked rock climbing, abseiling and pot-holing. Claire was interested in geology and was fascinated by unusual rock formations. She also loved glaciers and volcanoes.

Claire was very artistic and went to art college where she graduated with an art degree. Her first full-time job was as a graphic artist for an agency in central London. After a few years, she changed careers and trained as a cartographer. Claire was meticulous with a very good eye for precise work and she excelled at making maps.

Claire loved to dance and went to dance classes into her fifties. She also loved music and we went to very many  concerts of all types of music. Claire’s favourite band was Queen and her favourite solo artist was Bruce Springsteen. The last concert we went to was only ten days before she passed away – an Abba tribute act called Bjorn Again. We danced and waved our hands in the air like we just didn’t care.

Claire’s favourite colour was purple and her favourite film was The Nightmare Before Christmas. In October 2023 we went to the Royal Albert Hall to see Danny Elfman perform songs from the film with a full orchestra. This may have been Claire’s favourite concert ever.

We visited New Zealand and had some adventures including: Hiking the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island and walking the Milford Track on the South Island. We also hiked up glaciers, went sea kayaking, white-water rafting and jet boating. We also did the Nevis Swing – a tandem swing over a 525 foot deep canyon. Claire enjoyed this so much we ended up doing it a second time!

When I asked Claire what she would like for her 50th birthday, her answer was “skydiving”. So I booked her a tandem skydive and we drove to an airfield in the Midlands. Claire went up in the plane and came down strapped to an instructor. She loved it and had not a moment’s hesitation.

Claire was slightly built but she was fierce. She was honest, loyal and had a passion for life. She is sorely missed by her family and her friends. Claire’s mum, her brother, her sisters, her nephews and nieces – and me: We all miss Claire.

Claire firmly believed that research into epilepsy is the way forward. She left a donation to Epilepsy Research UK – now Epilepsy Institute – in her will. Also, she requested that people make donations in her name rather than send flowers. If you do make a donation, we – Claire’s family – thank you on her behalf. 

– John McSharry, January 2024

To make a donation to Claire’s memorial fund, please use the link below: