In Memory of





Obituary for Claudia C. Leighton (Cannan)

Claudia Cannan Leighton, 77, died at home in the loving arms of her husband on March 19, 2024. A wife, mother, grandmother, and a well-known presence around her town, her smile and spunky spirit will be sorely missed.

Claudia Frieda Cannan was born in 1946 to John and Elsie Cannan of Fort Kent, Maine. She was the eldest, (and would often say ‘the wisest’) of five siblings. Her family moved from “The County” to the state capital where her father managed the local J.C. Penney department store. Their home was perched above Western Avenue, just below the National Guard Airport Base with a view of a peach orchard.

After graduating from Cony High School in 1964, she soon married Charles Harvey and the welcomed their son, Eric Harvey. After some time, she moved with Eric to Winthrop. Claudia, a natural athlete, shared her love for swimming, skiing, biking, and hiking with Eric, exploring the scenic wonders of Maine together.

Claudia had an oversized personality which made her a natural fit for retail. In the late '70s she was employed by American Business Systems. Fate—or perhaps just a paper order—led her to the Boothbay peninsula to sell 3M products to a local land surveyor. Wearing her signature floppy hat to tame her voluminous hair, Claudia was impressed by the surveyor’s charm and lay of the land. (Terry was equally enamored). She soon found more reasons to sell 3M products in the Boothbay region.

In 1980, the couple purchased a split-level ranch in a quiet cove on the western shores of Barter’s Island. Claudia and Terry tied the knot shortly after, welcoming two sons, Michael and Ryan. Claudia adeptly balanced her roles as a talented cook, an enthusiast for the arts, and a dedicated basketball mom. She was often spotted orchestrating carpooling duties with the lively tunes of Whitney Houston and the “Phantom of the Opera” setting the soundtrack as she shuttled kids to and from school and practices.

Claudia relished outings with her "tennis buddies," infusing conversations with laughter and warm smiles. She was “the gatherer” who cherished moments with her large family. Her legendary Jell-o molds were a highlight at the annual Cannan Christmas parties.

Claudia had a "superhero sense of smell" and could always tell when Terry was working on a messy home project in his “nice” clothes. She was fiercely proud of her sons. She was also quick to point out that her sons' hair, (inherited from her), was their best feature.

Her playful wit and commanding presence defined her gravitas; she never minced words. Claudia's honesty left no room for ambiguity; she spoke her mind, unapologetically.

In the early 2000s, Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She faced the cancer head-on, proving to the disease that it had met its match. Claudia continued to embrace life with gusto. From her sons' weddings to the joy of becoming a grandmother, she cherished every moment.

In her later years, Claudia battled Alzheimer's disease. Memories faded, but her joyful spirit lived on. Though she was no longer the leader of the pack, Terry's devotion never wavered. Watching birds from her window and visits from grandchildren filled her heart with joy.

Some days were tough, and the darkest moments felt endless. But when loved ones walked in, the clouds lifted. In her final days, she smiled and told her son, "Always keep your mom with you." On March 19, she passed. Though she's gone, her memories endure.

Claudia is survived by her husband, Terry Leighton of Trevett, her children, Eric Harvey (Abigail) of Charlestown, MA, Michael Leighton (Lisa) of Trevett, Ryan Leighton (Erika) of Dresden, ME, and Jill Brown of Charlton, MA. Also, her grandchildren Alexander and Skylar Harvey, Parker and Rylie Leighton, and Crosby and Daphne Leighton. Her siblings, Donald Cannan (Betsy) of Monmouth, David Cannan (Sandra) of Eliot, Kathy Vachowski (John) of Lovell, Joanne Bean (Frank) of Scarborough, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents John Assad Cannan and Elsie Rose Cannan.

Instead of flowers, the family asks to please consider making an online donation to Mothers Demand Action at . A private celebration of Claudia’s life will be held later this summer for friends and family.

Halls of Boothbay has care of the arrangements. To offer online condolences, or to share a story or photo, visit Claudia’s Book of Memories at