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Death of local artist is loss of 'irreplaceable soul'

Shirley Robles, a local artist and long-time Danville resident, passed away unexpectedly early on May 10. Family members said they "have lost an irreplaceable soul. "

Born in 1953, Robles grew up in Castro Valley and moved to Maui, Hawaii upon graduating high school. After living and falling in love with the islands for a year, Robles returned to the Bay Area to pursue her college education first at Chabot Junior College, where she met her husband in a sculpture class, and later at Cal State Hayward. Robles and her husband moved to Danville in 1988 where they raised three children.

Robles was a member of the Alamo-Danville Artists Society and exhibited and sold her artwork at shows throughout the Bay Area, including local galleries and at downtown Danville art shows. She also taught classes on making "happy frog" sculptures at California High School, as part of the artist in residence program, and in Rossmore community centers. About her own work, Shirley said "the encouragement and support by my family, customers and friends flow with my impressions from travelling over the years, evolving my vision in clay."

In addition to her lifelong passion for art, Robles also enjoyed traveling with her family. Among her favorite destinations were the Hawaiian Islands, Europe and South and South-East Asia. Many of the "tools" she used to sculpt her clay pieces were collected during her trips, including finely whittled wood tools bought from an art student in Bhutan and hand-carved teak stamps found in India. She also had a long-held passion for belly dancing and was a member of local troupes.

A ceremonial scattering of ashes will take place in the ocean near Hilo, Hawaii at a later date.

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