‘Everyone fell in love with her’

Claire Randall, who died in a tragic murder-suicide, remembered as passionate, caring, talented young woman

EastBayRI.com ·

Claire Randall was a highly intelligent, passionate, talented woman who was loved by everyone who crossed her path, according to friends and coworkers. She was caring, outgoing, never afraid to speak up against injustice, and a natural born performer who’s singing has been described as “transcendent.”

"Claire made us better people. Everyone fell in love with her. She was the glue that held her friends and family together,” a group of her friends — Monica Fuhrmann, Hanh Le, Bridget Read, Sarah Stein and Maggie Toth — said in a statement. “Claire was strong, brave, thoughtful, witty, had a quiet confidence and made everyone feel loved and valued at all times. She had a beautiful soul, a wicked sense of humor, a creative mind and a kind heart.”

Tragically, Claire Randall’s life was cut short last Thursday when her father, Daniel Randall, former pastor of First Congregational Church in Bristol, shot her to death in the family’s home in Hebron, Maine, before turning the gun on himself. She was 27 years old.

Claire Randall was a talented musician. Hear her sing here

Ms. Randall, who lived and worked in New York City, was visiting the family in Maine for a couple weeks during a difficult time for her father and step-mother, Anita Randall, former executive director of the East Bay Food Pantry. Daniel Randall had reportedly been seeking treatment for alcohol abuse at an in-patient facility in Portland, Maine, and the couple was preparing to go through a divorce, according to Maine State Police. 

Last Thursday, Mr. Randall checked himself out of rehab, bought a shotgun, and went to the family’s home, where he killed Claire Randall and himself, police said. Neither Anita Randall nor Claire’s 14-year-old brother were home at the time. Claire also had a grown sister, Molly.

“She was very close with her brother and sister despite living in different cities — she always made time to go visit both of them as often as she could,” said Michelle Paul, Ms. Randall’s supervisor at Patron Technology, where she was the education and training manager. “She had been staying in Maine for the last few weeks so she could help her mom and spend some time with her brother; she was planning to return to Brooklyn this weekend.”

Ms. Randall was as caring and concerned for clients of the company as she was for coworkers, friends and family members, Ms. Paul said. Just about everyone in the company knew and respected her, and she “brought incredible focus and enthusiasm to her work.”

After graduating from Mt. Hope High School — where she was valedictorian — in 2008, Ms. Randall went on to Wesleyan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music, according to her linkedin profile, before beginning work at Patron Technologies in New York. She was in several bands — most recently soul rock band “Trot Fox” in New York — and was, by all accounts, an extremely talented singer who connected with her audience in ways few performers can.

“Claire was a natural born singer and performer,” her friends said. “Watching her on stage was like an out of body experience — entirely transcendent.”

Ms. Randall loved her partner, Gabe Gordon, as well as her family, friends and her two cats, Cecil and Lenny, her friends said. She loved to travel, especially to Italy, and was fluent in Italian. She was a feminist who stood up for social justice and was never afraid to speak her mind. She was also funny and entertaining, and had a style all her own.

“Claire had a great sense of humor, and we all agree that she had the best fashion sense of anyone we know,” Ms. Paul said. “The best was when those two things combined. A coworker remembered yesterday that she once made herself a shirt out of a bacon-patterned fabric, and she somehow pulled it off. In the last couple of years, her hair was variously pink, blue and lavender, and that too somehow seemed totally natural and completely professional on Claire. Multiple people have told me this weekend that Claire was the unquestionably the coolest person they ever met.”

“Claire touched so many people's lives, and had so much more to give to the world,” she continued. “It’s unthinkable that she's gone.” 

Ms. Randall will be remembered during a candlelight vigil organized by Mt. Hope High School faculty and alumni on Bristol Town Common Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Claire Randall