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Memorial held for city activist

Worden-Roberts’ service held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park

Posted: August 23, 2014 10:14 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2014 10:14 p.m.

Nearly 200 attendees look on as R.J. Kelly, left, and Duane Harte remove and fold the city of Santa Clarita flag from the top of the casket during memorial services for Connie Worden-Roberts held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary in Newhall on Saturday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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A crowd of around 200 gathered at Eternal Valley Memorial Park Saturday to pay their respects to and share their memories of longtime local volunteer and advocate Connie Worden-Roberts.

At the front of the crowd was a casket adorned in flowers and draped, fittingly, with the flag of the city Worden-Roberts had worked so diligently to create.

“She went forth without fear and she marches now into history,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste. “We will not forget her.”

Worden-Roberts died earlier this month at the age of 83.

Weste recited Worden-Roberts’ litany of accomplishments and involvements, which included her work to establish the city of Santa Clarita. Worden-Roberts personally gathered 2,000 out of the 24,000 signatures needed to put the vote to the people.

Worden-Roberts came to the Santa Clarita Valley around 1970, and wasted little time in getting involved in the community. She soon established herself as one of the area’s greatest advocates and volunteers.

She was perhaps best known as the Santa Clarita Valley’s “Road Warrior” for her efforts to improve driving locally, including her contributions to the cross-valley connector.

“She left this valley much better than when she found it,” Weste said.

Those that knew Worden-Roberts say it would be difficult to find an area of life in the Santa Clarita Valley that has not been touched by her work in some way.

She served on the North County Citizens Planning Council, the SCV Parade Committee, the Friends of Hart Park and the William S. Hart Union High School District board and was essential in launching the continuing cleanup of the Santa Clarita Valley’s 1,000-acre brownfield — the Whittaker-Bermite site.

She was also a longtime board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

Longtime club executive Jim Ventress remembered Worden-Roberts as “one-of-a-kind and a very caring soul.”

“She always had that knack to get what she wanted, especially if it benefitted our community,” he said.

City Councilman Bob Kellar said he recalled being impressed with Worden-Roberts right away.

“As I learned more, I became increasingly impressed with her intellect and her never-ending desire to serve the Santa Clarita Valley,” Kellar said.

At the end of the service, those in attendance rose to their feet silently as pallbearers slowly shepherded the casket away.

“God bless Connie Worden-Roberts,” Weste said. “She now belongs to God.”

 

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