Claire Morfit Hunkins


The Rev. Claire Morfit Hunkins passed away peacefully at her home in Oak Hall, surrounded by family, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. Although sad to leave her children and friends behind, she was happily reunited with her husband, Robert Gale Beckwith Jr., who passed just a few weeks prior.

Born Oct. 16, 1950, in New Brunswick, N.J., and raised in Fredericksburg, Va., she was the only daughter of the late Edwin Fiske Morfit Sr. and the late Margaret Edna Muller Morfit.

Having been raised in a Christian home, Claire remained close to her Episcopalian faith throughout life. In 1973, she received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Kentucky and spent her career in science working for Owens Corning Science and Technology Center in Newark, Ohio. In November of 1988, Claire became the proud mother of five children, ages 7 to 16. She promised a forever home, opened her heart, and gave unconditional love and support to each of her precious children without hesitation or limitation.

Over the years, Claire’s spiritual path continued to strengthen, and she decided to pursue her Master of Divinity, graduating from Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 2006. In 2008, she relocated to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where she became the longtime priest of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Jenkins Bridge. She enjoyed spending time in her garden, hiking, traveling, reading, and playing bridge.  

Claire never pretended to be anything except who she was, and those she met instantly felt her genuineness and compassion. She was real, humble, honest, selfless — a truly remarkable human being.

Claire’s life will forever be celebrated and remembered by her children, Christina Velasquez, of Flint, Mich., Petra Velasquez, of Fort Wayne, Ind., Jessica Velasquez, of Canton, Ohio, Eric Velasquez (Alex), of El Paso, Texas, and Larry Velasquez (Wanda), of Phoenix; brothers, Paul Morfit, John Morfit (Tanya), David Morfit (Debbie), Jeff Morfit (Theresa), and Eddie Morfit; 19 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; stepchildren, Amelia Beckwith (Hunter) and Brian Beckwith (Alex); as well as countless friends, all of whom are grateful to have shared this life with her.

A service in celebration of Claire and Bob’s lives will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Robert Coniglio and the Rev. Linda Scholer officiating. The family will greet friends at the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Claire’s memory to Emmanuel Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 186, Oak Hall, VA 23416, or to Intrepid USA Hospice, 165 Market St., Suite 2, Onancock, VA 23417.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.

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