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Claude Jean Pecquet

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 6:31 pm

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Claude Jean Pecquet, 84, of Centralia, Missouri, on July 4, 2024.

Claude was born October 8, 1939 in Bayeux, France.  He left Europe as a toddler with his parents in December of 1941 on the last passenger ship to the United States during World War II.  He adored the United States of America, and his death on July 4 is a fitting reminder of his love for this country.

He spent his childhood in Mexico and New York, and graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in international trade.

Completely trilingual in English, French and Spanish, he also mastered phrases in a number of other languages including Swedish, which he used to first flirt with the Swedish woman who would become his dearly beloved wife.

Claude was a gentleman known for his kindness, curiosity, and an assortment of puns and “dad jokes”.  He enjoyed good conversation, a delicious meal with friends and family, a dry martini on the porch, listening to jazz, classical and Latin music, and traveling and exploring. He loved walking in nature and swimming in the ocean. He liked to learn and to keep up with current events and enjoyed reading non-fiction, especially history, politics, philosophy and theology.

He enjoyed driving — in his younger years in Europe Claude drove in the French countryside in a Renault R8 Gardini and once drove from Paris, France to Beirut, Lebanon.  He was a big of fan of Saabs and did many driving trips in the United States with his wife Lena including in the Badlands of the Dakotas, the Deep South to New Orleans, and through New England to Maine.

Claude had a career in international sales working in Europe and the United States, and spent more than 20 years of his career with AB Chance in Centralia where he was responsible for sales in Latin America and the Caribbean.  He knew those countries and cultures well, and was especially partial to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.

Claude was a devout Catholic and member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Centralia.  He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and later Rotary International, for which he served as the President of the Centralia Chapter from 2011 to 2012 and participated in a number of Rotary International conventions.  Through Rotary, he volunteered with Project Amigo in Mexico, including working as an interpreter for doctors and dentists.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Osher program at the University of Missouri-Columbia and enjoyed a variety of courses.

In his death, Claude is reunited with his beloved wife Lena who he married in Stockholm, Sweden in 1965, and his son Jean-Claude.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, his parents-in-law, and his sister-in-law Ajta Cederholm.  He is survived by his daughters Caroline and Christina, and his brother Marc and sister-in-law Marie-Christine of Fourqueux, France, as well as his nephew Julian and niece Amélie and their families.

Visitation will be held at the Fenton-Kendrick Funeral Home on 104 South Collier Street on Sunday, July 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m with a short program and rosary at 7:00 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Centralia on 404 South Rollins Street at 11:00am on Monday, July 15.

For those who may wish to make donations in Claude’s memory, the family suggests the following organizations: the Centralia Public Library; Team Gleason, which provides technologies and support for persons living with ALS; and Catholic Relief Services.  Any donations may be sent in care of Fenton-Kendrick Funeral Home, 104 S. Collier St. Centralia, MO 65240.