Clarion Ann Benner Sullivan


Clarion Ann Benner Sullivan, a longtime resident of Oak Bluffs, died peacefully on Sunday, May 1, 2016. She was surrounded by all “the boys” as well as her brother Gerald Benner and sister Kathy Benner-Berninger, in her own home. Clare died as she had lived, with dignity and grace.

Clarion was was born on May 7, 1950, in Damariscotta, Maine, to the late Alphra Rose Morton and Edward Eugene Benner. She was the oldest of 11 children. She was most recently predeceased by her husband, Kenneth “Sully” Sullivan, her brother Edward, and her sister Georgia.

Clare was an accomplished gardener, and enjoyed working at various flower shows and orchid competitions throughout Massachusetts. She was talented in so many ways. Clare could wallpaper your kitchen, soothe your crying baby, and fertilize your hydrangeas without breaking a sweat. She could whip up a gourmet meal out of of nothing at all. Her dry humor and wit were legendary!

Clare allowed people to be who they were. She encouraged us, accepted us, made us laugh, often at ourselves. Clare was never too busy to help, to listen, to comfort or forgive. Her arms were open unconditionally; she loved us warts and all, and we are all the better for it. We are quite certain that when you look up the definition of wife, mother, sister, friend, and guardian angel, you will see Clare’s smiling face.

Her family is hosting a memorial service Saturday, May 7, at 2 pm, at the VFW in Oak Bluffs. All are welcome.

Clarion leaves her children and grandchildren: Jason Cray, his wife Robin, children Ryan, Emily, Kylie, and Cole; Lewis Cameron, wife Michelle, children Michella, Haley, and Samantha; Virgil Cray Sr., children Virgil Jr., Jenae, and Lewis; Douglas Cray, his children Jason and Anjelika; Frank Cray, wife Stephania, and children Frank Jr. and Maya Rose; Russell Michael Nisbet, wife Seana, children Sean and Megan; her loving stepsons Patrick Strong, and Joseph Sullivan, wife Kerri, and child Kenzie Jo.

Donations in Clare’s memory may be made to the MSPCA or your local animal shelter. Clare and Sully’s dogs, Ruby and Baby, will be cared for by Jason and Robin, and their cats, Max and Jax, will be cared for Michael and Seana.