Former Patagonia resident Charlotte Finley, better known as Cici, followed other strong women into the great beyond on November 18, 2018 in Estes Park, Colorado. Born in 1929, Cici grew up during the depression, out in the country near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her father sold knives to support the family, then started businesses in Minneapolis. Cici attended the University of Minnesota studying elementary education, and married Paul Finely Sr. not long after graduating in 1952.
She worked as an elementary school teacher and then left the workforce to spend time focusing on her growing family as they moved in response to Paul’s work. Ann was born in Washington state, Paul and Sarah were born in Minnesota, and Ian, the youngest, was born in England. During these years Cici worked to improve the school district in Minnesota and she actively opposed the Vietnam War. She also explored her longstanding passions for ceramics and gardening. Some people referred to her as a supermom.
In 1972, after one too many cold winters, the family moved to Tucson where Paul Sr. worked as a pathologist at the University Medical Center. Cici began her annual holiday open house and pottery sales with lots of wine and cheese and many friends. Around 1984, with her children grown, Cici and her son Paul’s wife Faye opened a new restaurant and bakery, The Ovens of Patagonia. Soon thereafter, Cici moved to her newly built house in Red Rock Acres, next door to her sister Anne Swan and brother-in-law George.
In Patagonia, Cici also became instrumental in the expansion of the Patagonia Public Library completed in the mid-1990s. She continued her gardening, pottery production, and annual holiday pottery sale. Paul Sr. died suddenly in 1994.
In 2014 Cici moved to Estes Park, Colorado to be near her daughter Ann. Cici is survived by Ann (Chris), Erin and Kaitlin; Paul (Faye), Nigel (Joey), Nash (Kim); Sarah (Craig), Colin and Will; and Ian.
This not so well-behaved woman was loved by all that were lucky to know her. She will be missed.