Claudia G. Wilcke, 94 years old, most recently of Arlington, MA, died peacefully with family on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. Claudia was born on January 16, 1925 in Tarrytown, NY, the daughter of Mary Chervenak Gorelick and Constantine Gorelick. She grew up in Bridgeport, CT, graduating from Warren Harding High School in 1942, where she got great enjoyment out of acting in the theatre club. She married Arthur B. Wilcke in 1943 before he left for service in World War ll as a fighter pilot of P-47 Thunderbolts in the European Theater. During the war she worked at the aircraft company Chance Vought, and was a skilled plane spotter, a talent she carried throughout her life, being able to identify any car on the road. Although they always considered Connecticut their home, Claudia and Art were great travelers over the course their marriage, living in numerous locales throughout the United States as a result of Artʼs postings and living abroad in countries as varied as Chile and Scotland. They settled long enough in Wyomissing, PA to raise their daughter, Tania.
Throughout her long life Claudia developed a broad knowledge of history, culture, and politics which complimented her love of books, theatre, the arts, PBS, and music of all genres, from folk, to Broadway, to opera. Always self-effacing, she was nonetheless the woman you wanted on your trivia game team. Her kind and gentle nature was a constant throughout her life, with her good humor being nicely spiced with a quiet, wry wit and sense of humor.
Claudia was predeceased by her husband in 1999 after 56 years of marriage. She is survived by her daughter, Tatiana Wilcke, son-in-law, Gregory Porfido, and granddaughter, Anastasia, her partner in fun & games, car rides, and stuffed animals. Although she was an only child, Claudia never lacked for cousins, first and second and exponential, as well as nieces and nephews across the families and generations. After her move to Massachusetts to be with her daughter and family, Claudia was also surrounded by their friends and neighbors and remarkable caregivers.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA alongside her husband, Art. A celebration of her life will be held locally in the fall, as she was not a fan of summer. Should friends wish, a donation can be made to Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, 724 Wolcott Avenue, Beacon, NY. 12508.