Celia Anne Fine, age 79, died peacefully December 23, 2022. She was born July 21, 1943, to Janet (Redfield) and Charles Payne. After growing up with her mother in Denver, CO, Celia attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where she graduated in 1965 with a degree in French and English. She was fortunate to meet Anne Jones there, who became a lifelong mentor, friend, and later, godmother to Celia’s daughter, Elizabeth. Celia continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, teaching French, and living in the French House on the shores of Lake Mendota during its first year in the current Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired building.
Celia played violin from a young age, excelling in competitions, performing with symphony orchestras, and serving as concertmaster during her final years at Lawrence. In the 1980s Celia found a second career in medical transcription, training and eventually working, for Dean Clinic. She became a manager for the transcription team and taught transcription and medical language courses at Madison Area Technical College.
She spent many decades as a strong advocate and care-giver for her autistic daughter, Sarah.
As a child and young adult she was influenced by strong relationships with independent, intellectual, artistic women. Her mother was a university teacher and researcher studying and publishing on infant growth and behavior in the late 1930s. Her aunt, Gail Redfield, was a Purdue University Home Economics professor and nationally known weaver who helped found the Cross Country Weavers. Gail would drive in, pick up Celia as a girl, hand her a map, and take her off on cross-country drives to visit family and see sites.
Celia loved to travel and planned trips whenever she could, including to France, England, Ireland, Iceland, and many places in the US. She always made time for the arts, from the symphony and theater, to school concerts. And through ticket purchases, she made sure her daughters got to experience the arts, often referring to herself as the Cultural Affairs Attaché. She treasured nature, time with friends and family, and time with a good book. She was a wonderful cook and baker, known particularly for her pies.
She found a home in the Episcopal church, where her ability to care for those around her and to organize and proceed thoughtfully through large projects made her an indispensable member of the community. Her roles included reader and greeter; elected leadership roles as Senior Warden and vestry member; leader of the hiring committee for the current rector; co-chair of a capital campaign; and member of the diocesan Standing Committee during a recent transition between bishops.
She always found wonderful groups of friends, from the Bunkies to the Feichelsons to the Purples, and had the ability to make strangers feel like family.
Celia is survived by daughters, Sarah Fine and Elizabeth (Adam) Simcock; and grandchildren, Kellen and Leo Simcock, who she adored.
Visitation and memorial service will be at ST. DUNSTAN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 6205 University Ave, Madison, WI, on Saturday, February 11. Visitation at 1 p.m. and service at 2 p.m. with Reverend Miranda Hassett presiding. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum Endowment Fund, or Heartland Farm Sanctuary.