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Celia, the Angel

by Jann Fischer

November 3rd 1994

This last Friday, October 28th many of us here in Quartzsite attended the memorial service for Celia Winer, who died at only 8 and 1/2 years old on October 25th.

Her memorial service at The First Baptist Church of Quartzsite with special speakers including Celia’s parents, Paul and Joanne Winer, was a beautiful memorial and tribute to Celia. Paul and Joanne want to thank all of the town for their love and kindness during this very difficult time of adjustment. The QIA and Quartzsite Ladies Club helped out tremendously and they are appreciated.

A copy of the Angel Celia drew for the first Quartzsite Community Christmas Program was on the front of the special memorial program; reminding us an Angel really did live among us. She had been only 6 when she drew that Angel and I can’t help but think the “heart” shaped left arm on her Angel was on purpose...with the arms stretched Out to love freely...the way she did.

Her classmates crafted darling cardboard-paper-lacy-with-real- brown-hair angels  (they looked like Celia) for the table decorations for the refreshment tables, where food was served just after the service.

We all have special memories of Celia. During the last interview with her she answered the question about her favorite books and said they were fantasy books ...well, yes, I like them because, like with Alice and Wonderland, a real person could never do what Alice did...but, it is so much fun to pretend you could...and that’s the only way we can do those things is to pretend in fantasy books. ..that’s why I like them...” Who else, no matter what the age would say it so “right” and so beautiful?...

 During Christmas one year she posed for a photo, with package wrapping bows...it seems like she posed more for  Quartzsite...knowing some day we’d be thankful for her gift of love, unusual intelligence and laughter she gave to us here in our tiny desert town.

 Her classmates and teacher at the Quartzsite Elementary School will miss her terribly where she spent her long day hours.  Her teacher, Mrs. McClenning has written a special tribute to Celia for those who loved her:

 “Celia will always be in my heart. She will be our eternal friend. Our little angel.

My class and I have talked about the time we spent with Celia. At recess, at lunch, during class and all through special moments when we listened to her dreams, her ideas and her stories.

As I sat in my room full of empty desks, this afternoon, I can still hear her precious voice whispering in my ear. I can still hear her singing. I can still see her face. Celia was a very, special child.

In class Celia had written about her goals in life. She wanted to do great in school, to help other, to be a friend to everyone, to save the world, to read 100 books, to graduate, to learn about the world, to do good in math, and to have a happy life. I believe Celia Winer has accomplished all of her goals.

Celia once wrote what it would be like to ride on a magic carpet. She wrote, “I would see the world from Egypt to Alaska, the jungle, to the desert. It would be a whole new experience. A breath taking view. Up in the sky like a shining star. A whole new world! Visit people from faraway places. It would be all so magical! I probably couldn’t go back to where I used to be. Celia, we will miss you.”