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Claudia Tomsa, age 39, died 9/9/22 in Newton, MA from a long dormant brain tumor.
Claudia was born in Sibiu, Romania where she lived until age 15 when she emigrated to the US to study classical piano at a summer camp for gifted children. While there she auditioned for the Walnut Hill School for the Visual and Performing Arts which she attended on a scholarship. At Walnut Hill she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) which she endured with grit and resilience that characterized her entire life. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in piano at Ithaca College and University of Southern Maine respectively and performed and taught piano in the Boston and Seattle areas until MS put an end to her piano career. With characteristic drive and determination, she reinvented herself as a chef with cooking skills that she attributed to her maternal grandmother. She was self-employed as a private chef and by the New England Aquarium field site in Lubec, Maine; Swartz Catering, Ten Tables, La Bonne Maison and other restaurants throughout the greater Boston area, achieving the title of executive chef. Many friends, roommates, customers, and neighbors were the beneficiary of her creative cooking. Claudia loved the people and places of many cultures, embraced difference, learned five languages, and became a US citizen. Always a gifted musician, she picked up Bluegrass guitar in the later years of her young life. She was a beautiful free spirit and lived deliberately unencumbered by material wealth. In the last months of her life, she lost the ability to form short term memories but had preserved humor, insight, intelligence, and a ready smile until her death.
She will be deeply missed by her mother, Marcela Pripis of Sibiu, Romania; first cousins Codruta Pripis (Michael Soares) of Cuenca, Equador; and Crenguta Alina Pripis of Geilo, Norway; maternal uncle Nicolae Pripis (Viorica Pripis); dear friends Tomas Perez and Michael Fein; former husband Daniel Pendleton; and the many close friends and warm colleagues Claudia made throughout her life until the very end.
A service celebrating her life will be held on Friday Oct 14, 2022 from 5-8 PM at the Belmont Lions Club, 1 Common Street Belmont, MA
You are invited to send contributions in Claudia’s memory to City of Cambridge Scholarship Fund (www.cambridgema.gov and click on "Pay a Bill Online") or to the charity of your choice.