Celia Roberts died at her home in Paonia Jan. 21, 2018.
She was born and raised in Kentucky. She received degrees from Hanover College and the University of North Carolina, and began a two-year career as a college math professor in Florida. In escaping that "boring career" she moved to the Bahamas for a short time. In 1969 an opportunity arose to move to Colorado, which she had dreamed of since visiting with her family in the '50s.
She began working as a photographer for the newspaper in Vail and was soon in charge of the darkroom and publishing double page spreads. Eventually she owned the Reflections art gallery in Vail, which she ran for many years. She organized the local Hunger Project and other poverty initiatives, always raising awareness of the plight of those less fortunate.
Ms. Roberts moved to Boulder for a short time and in 1991 moved to Paonia. She was active in the community, serving on the Blue Sage Center for the Arts board of directors for six years, as well as participating in many other projects to benefit her community. She could be seen at many community events taking photos to share with the event organizers and/or her friends.
Her feistiness served her well in her mission to shed light on the difficult life of migrant farm workers and their families. Celia began photographing them in 1992 across the U.S. and in Mexico. She published photographic calendars to benefit the National Migrant & Seasonal Workers Head Start Association from 2000-2013. She made presentations and displayed her photographic collection of migrant workers and their families on two occasions in Washington D.C., and once in San Diego. She spent time at the U.S./Mexican border wall photographing to help educate people to the reality of forced family separations.
Her portfolio included images of the natural world from the U.S. as well as work taken while photographing for Habitat for Humanity in Bolivia and Ecuador, UNICEF and the Breakthrough Foundation in India and Sri Lanka, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) in Costa Rica, Pastors for Peace in El Salvador and during her independent travels in Mexico.
Ms. Roberts never married or had children and successfully supported herself through photography, mainly of the landscapes she loved. She spent many years traveling to art and craft fairs around the country, selling her beautiful "Earth Images" photo. When not behind the camera she enjoyed the Dances of Universal Peace as well as classical music and dancing to rock 'n roll.
She was attended by Bird Song Crossings Home Funerals and cremated by Taylor Funeral Home.
A celebration of life will be held at the Blue Sage in Paonia the afternoon of April 1.