Cover photo for Claude Spinosa's Obituary
Claude Spinosa Profile Photo
1937 Claude 2021

Claude Spinosa

July 17, 1937 — September 5, 2021

Claude Spinosa, 84, of Sandpoint, Idaho, succumbed to cancer peacefully in his sleep on Sunday September 5, 2021.


Claude is survived by his wife Jean Spinosa of 58 years, brother Roberto Cabras, three sons John, Mike, and Dan, daughters-in-law Irina Spinosa, Yvette Gustafsen, and Arlene Spinosa, grandchildren Claire and Michelle, nieces, nephews and extended family and friends. Claude was a loving father, husband, grandfather, and friend to everyone.


Claude was born July 17, 1937 in Baunei, Sardinia Italy. After the passing of his father, Giovanni Cabras, his mother, Giuseppina Cabras and Claude immigrated to the USA in 1948. She later married Ralph Spinosa and lived in Brooklyn, NY. Siblings Milena, Anna and Roberto also immigrated to the US at different times. Claude attended City College in New York making lifelong friendships with his fraternity brothers at Delta Alpha graduating in 1963. He married Jean Vitarelli who recently graduated from White Plains School of Nursing in New York. They moved to Iowa City, where in 1967 graduated from the University of Iowa with a PhD in Geology and had their first son, John. He taught at the University of Indiana and then in 1970 moved to Boise and taught at Boise State University. They had two more sons, Mike and Dan and he finally retired in 2003. Claude loved teaching and doing research in the US, Russia, China, Mexico, Italy, and Palau in Micronesia. During retirement he coordinated many field camps to Sardinia and reconnected with family and friends in his birth town of Baunei. He and Jean eventually built a house on Lake Pend Oreille where he lived his remaining years enjoying having friends and family visit. He enjoyed camping and fishing on the lake and trips on the coast for salmon. Claude maintained friendships with the many people he met throughout his life. His family were like friends and his friends were like family.  He will be deeply missed by many.


A special thanks to the staff at Kootenai Health and Bonner General for their compassionate care. His obituary is also on In lieu of flowers please consider donating to a charity of your choice or cancer foundation. A small celebration of life is being planned for later this fall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claude Spinosa, please visit our flower store.


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