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Clair Hanlon, 90, Ex-Westport Firearms Finisher

WESTPORT, Conn. – Clair F. Hanlon, 90, formerly of Westport, died Tuesday, April 17, at his home in Willimantic. His wife, the former Evelyn Howard, died in 2003.

Born in Lake Ariel, Pa., he was the son of Bernard and Katherine Hart Hanlon. During World War II, Hanlon enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a pilot for the 157 Liaison Squadron in the Philippines and Okinawa.

Following the war, he moved to Westport, where he was a longtime resident. Hanlon worked as a finisher for Ruger Firearms in Fairfield before moving to Willimantic.

An accomplished fiddler, he enjoyed playing fiddle from an early age, later going on to win regional competitions in New England and Canada. He was a longtime member of various Old Time Fiddlers associations in the northeast, enjoying the camaraderie and sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow fiddlers.

Hanlon is survived by two sons, Dennis (Helen) Hanlon, of Highland, Kan., and Kevin (Mary) Hanlon, of Southury; four daughters Catherine (Don) Godfrey, of Manchester, N.H., Evelyn (Robert) Morgan, of Willimantic, Diane Hanlon, of Milford, and Patricia Patterson, of Pittsburgh; 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by eight brothers and sisters.

A funeral service was held Friday at James Wilson Funeral Home in Lake Ariel. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church in Willimantic at a future date.

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