Claire Pandolfo was born on October 28, 1951, and passed away on Monday, January 23, 2023. In addition to her son Richard, grandson RJ, and daughter-in-law Christina, Claire is survived by her sisters and brothers: Barbara Jordan (Aldustus), Mark Palionis, Marian Schneider and Gerard Palionis as well as nieces and nephews.
What stands out most from her life was just how many people she helped over the years. Countless individuals and families whom she helped that will never know her name.
Claire had been retired for some time, and many forget that she had spent a career helping other people. Prior to the internet, there wasn’t an easy way to find resources in a community. Claire ran the Town of Islip Hotline and their all-volunteer staff which provided callers with anything from referrals and support to crisis intervention. There were parents who had to choose between their children eating or having heat. LGBT youth who’d call looking for support services because everyone else in their lives had abandoned them. Regular callers that had no other mental health resources than the hotline, some who would call just to be less lonely. The most amazing part was that all these years later she still knew the number for many of the resources. She leaves an important legacy. She was here and she made a difference.