Christian 12

Claire Marie O'Reilly

October 6, 1927 ~ January 17, 2022 (age 94)


Claire O’Reilly, a resident of Silver Spring, MD, for 60 years, passed into eternal life January 17, 2022, at age 94. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom, in 1997.

Claire was born and raised in Syracuse, NY, one of four children of Carl and Beatrice Hemmer. She graduated as valedictorian from St. John’s Catholic Academy in 1945 and received a B.S. in Nursing at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY in 1949. After working for several years in New York State as a nurse, she moved to Washington, DC, where she received an M.S. in Nursing from the Catholic University of America in 1959, specializing in public health.

In 1961 she married Thomas O’Reilly, a graduate of Catholic University’s School of Architecture. Claire worked as a supervisor for the Prince George’s County Public Health Department until their first child was born in 1963. She was a full-time mother and homemaker until her children neared college age, at which point Claire began working as a home care nurse for the newly established Holy Cross Home Care and Hospice, where she worked until retiring in 1993.

Throughout her life, Claire was a devout and active Catholic, attending daily Mass and serving in various roles at St. Peter’s Church in Olney (where she established and coordinated a parish nurse ministry upon her retirement from Holy Cross) and then at St. Patrick’s Church in Rockville.

She was an almost equally devout fan of the Notre Dame football team, following their games since she was in high school until the Fiesta Bowl less than three weeks before her death. Saturdays in fall invariably found her in her kitchen or living room in front of the TV, wearing a Notre Dame T-shirt and listening to a CD with ten different renditions of the Notre Dame Victory March, all played at high volume.

Claire’s greatest legacy was her gracious and welcoming attitude toward everyone around her. Although she suffered from some serious health conditions in later years, she maintained a positive and grateful attitude until the end.

She is survived by her daughter, Maureen Roche (son-in-law, Jim); son, Tom O’Reilly (daughter-in-law, Marcie); and three grandchildren, Kevin and Colleen Roche and Brenna O’Reilly.

Claire will be greatly missed, but we trust that her prayers for her family, friends, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be more efficacious than ever.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 4101 Norbeck Rd., Rockville, MD, preceded by visitation from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Claire’s name may be made to either the Msgr. Thomas A. Kane Scholarship or to St. Peter’s Catholic School - details below.

To send flowers to Claire's family, please visit our floral store.


January 22, 2022

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
4101 Norbeck Road
Rockville, MD 20853

Funeral Mass
January 22, 2022

11:30 AM
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
4101 Norbeck Road
Rockville, MD 20853

Interment following funeral service
January 22, 2022

Gate of Heaven Cemetery
13801 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20906


St. Peter's Catholic School
2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney MD 20832

Msgr. Thomas A. Kane Scholarship at St. Patrick Catholic Church
4101 Norbeck Road, Rockville MD 20853

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