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Clara Vera (Vinci) Swee
October 16, 1928 ~ January 15, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
Clara Swee, lifelong resident of White Plains, passed away on January 15 at the age of 95.
Clara Vinci was born on October 16, 1928, to Frank and Mary Vinci in Logan, West Virginia. As the eldest daughter to parents who owned a restaurant and candy store catering to coal miners, Clara could be found at a very young age working behind the candy counter, where she developed her love of chocolate and sweets. She graduated from Logan High School before moving to White Plains to live with her grandmother while attending Berkeley Secretarial School. In 1950 her family also moved to White Plains. Upon graduation, she took a job at J. Walter Thompson Advertising on Madison Avenue in NYC. After raising her children, Clara went back to work as part of the alumni support team at Pace University before retiring in the 1990s.
In 1957 Clara married the love of her life, Helge Swee, and was married for 60 years until his passing in 2017. Clara and Helge have two sons; Christopher and his wife Judy of Somers, NY and Michael and his partner Christopher of Yonkers, NY, daughter in-law Lynn of Katonah and five grandchildren; Kristoffer, Erik, Alexander, Stefan, and Cameron. She also has a niece, Dania Wilson Hively of Leesburg, Virginia, and nephew, Giulio Capua of Mt. Kisco, NY.
As part of a big Italian family, Clara was always a gracious host, whose entire life was centered around family, friends, and food. She was very close to her sisters, Mary Francis Capua and Tina Wilson, and brother Frank Vinci, who have all preceded her in death, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Her recipe for longevity was a balanced diet of chocolate, coffee, Coca-Cola, and Ice Cream, and of course anything Italian. She loved music, specifically opera, classical, broadway and MGM musicals and popular music from the 40s and 50s. She had the ability to play piano by ear, not being able to read music at all, and was playing up until her death.
Everyone she met was greeted the same way, whether you were an old friend or a new acquaintance — with a warm smile, a sunny disposition, and would you like something to eat?
In lieu of a wake or funeral service, Clara will be remembered with a “celebration of life” ceremony which will be held in the spring. Instead of flowers donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Association.