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Remembering Celia Winer

By Jann Fischer 

Our entire town, here in Quartzsite, has been in shock due to the recent death, in the early hours of October 25, 1994 of Celia Winer, who died unexpectedly with no previously known illness.

A memorial service will be held in her honor, with Pastor Hurst conducting, Friday, October 28, 1994, at 4 p.m. at The First Baptist Church of Quartzsite. Funeral arrangements by Frye Chapel and Mortuary.

The Gem Newspaper and the entire town of Quartzsite extends our sincere condolences to the surviving parents of Celia - Paul and Joanne Winer, the owners of the Reader’s Oasis Book Store. Paul Winer is also been a regular contributor of the cartoon, “As the Crow Flies” for The Gem Newspaper.

Celia was only eight years old at the time of her death, and a third grader in Mrs. McClenning’s class, room #5, at Quartzsite Elementary School. Celia was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on March 28, 1986. She lived with her parents at the La Z Daze Mobile Home Park in Quartzsite, Arizona. Celia and her parents have been residents of Quartzsite for four years.

Celia was a particularly unusual  child in that she was almost constantly with a smile, and had a near adult wit and intelligence.
I knew her from visits with her parents at their book store, at their home and at the Quartzsite Elementary School.

One day, about two months ago, during the scorching hot summer, I met her at the Oasis Book Store, as she was involved in one of her art projects. She asked me, “What do you think of this? It’s a couple who just got married.” And, yea, it was just that...she had been so clever as to cut out a couple being married...without drawing it first, no less, and then began to color it after she had fashioned them with scissors.

I was amazed. I had several interviews with her for my education and kids and families in the desert articles for The Gem. She never ceased to amaze me. In my last interview, she made some suggestions for the column and I found her suggestions to be correct. She smiled when I told her that she ought to be consulted from now on with this particular article; and I thought how wonderful and interesting were her ideas, coming from a child.

Celia demonstrated tremendous insight and intelligence regularly, and anyone who had the opportunity to know Celia, was indeed blessed and lucky because she was a “special” spirit among us.
The last evening she was alive, at the Open House on Monday night, October 24th, she told Bob Cappi, owner of The Bouse General Store, and Vice - Mayor of Quartzsite, she wanted to be an Angel for Halloween.

Since Celia’s death, Bob Cappi told those assembled at the Quartzsite Town Council Meeting on Tuesday just prior to a moment of silence for her , “...and she will get her wish, she will be an angel on Halloween...”
A special bank account for donations has been set up for the Winer family at the County Bank in Quartzsite and donation jars arc also set up in several places in Town.