There are people we meet in life, through business, social situations, family and friends — the ones who are the loud, boisterous people who dominate a room. They speak to hear themselves speak and try to impress anyone who will listen. Then there are the quiet ones. Those who don’t say a lot, but once you get to know them, they awe you with their talent, their intellect, their kindness, and their humanity.
Roberta Niederjohn was one of those quiet ones. She was so amazingly talented with her art, her writing, her Photoshop skills, and her love of animals, that she left you in awe. She was incredibly quiet. Humble. Kind. Gentle.
So much so, that I didn’t know she passed away a year ago until just recently. She didn’t announce her cancer; not a word was ever said. She didn’t announce her absence from work. Nobody at SDSU, where we were colleagues, ever said a word about her sickness. And sadly, nobody said a word about her passing. She didn’t get the major hoopla those in the power seats get. Not the major news story. Not a single word.
She was one of the most gentle souls I had the privilege of working with. A kindhearted human who did not speak ill of anyone. She loved animals, probably more than humans — but what sentient human doesn’t?
Roberta won many awards at the Del Mar Fair for her artistic endeavors.
Roberta, you were loved, admired and appreciated more than you know.
Top photo: Roberta received an Honorable Mention at the 2014 San Diego County Fair for this Photoshop portrait of herself in a Steampunk fantasy land. She titled it “Madame Awaits Her Airship.”
Bottom photo: Kim Lamke Calderon, Sharon Penny, and Roberta Niederjohn after presenting at the SD/PEN Program Meeting in July, 2014.