Caribbean Born International Photographer Funeralized In Brooklyn

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Hayden Roger Celestin on Sat. May 20, 2017 at Brooklyn College. (Hakim Mutlaq image)
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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. Dec. 21, 2019: Caribbean-born, international news photographer, Hayden Roger Celestin, was funeralized in Brooklyn, NY, on Sat. Dec. 21st.

Several media colleagues and friends gathered at the at the Frank R. Bell Funeral Home at 536 Sterling Place, between Sterling Place and Classon Avenue in Brooklyn, to celebrate the life of the man known to many as simply ‘Roger.’

A viewing was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by a service from 1 p.m. with Rev. Terry Lee.

Celestin, 64, a News Americas staff photographer, passed away on Dec. 14, 2019 after a 7-month battle with a debilitating stroke.

Celestin’s stroke had come amid his recovery from back surgery in 2015 that had left him learning to walk again. Additionally, he had also been on dialysis for over three decades, shocking many medical professionals with his ability to survive that long on the treatment.But despite the health challenge, the Brooklyn-based, immigrant built an illustrious international career as a New York Press Association news photographer, work for several major publications including the New York Daily News and for top wire services like Getty, AFP and UPI, covering numerous major events including the NBA, the US Open, the UN.

A promising high school athlete in his homeland of Tunapuna, Trinidad, he sustained a lifelong kidney injury in a track & field event that led to his migration. At the time of his death, he was only the third longest living patient on dialysis, having survived 39 years on the treatment.

He began his photography career while working at Everybody’s Magazine in the 1980s and spent some four decades covering the Caribbean American community and its history, including Caribbean leaders at the UN and Brooklyn’s Caribbean American Day Carnival, before branching out into covering global news features in sports such as the Penn Relays, the US Open and the NBA as well as world leaders at the UN and celebrities at the Letterman Show.

Celestin was preceded in death by his mother. He is survived by several relatives and close friends.

Search for “News Americas” on YouTube.com to visit and subscribe to the News Americas channel and view several videos of remembrances recorded by videographer Delroy Davis (skyman335@gmail.com) at Roger’s Dec. 21 funeral service and the repast affair at the Valentine Museum or Art, both in Brooklyn.