Born October 22, 1941 in Detroit, MI, Celeste Veronica Williams (Shamily) was the daughter of James and Ernestine Shamily. She was the eldest of three siblings (Ramona "Pang-Dang", James Jr. "Brother-Boy", and Juanita "Nita") and took pride in contributing to their care and upbringing. She accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and attended Detroit Public Schools (George Washington Carver High School).
Celeste became a young wife during her brief marriage to Kermie Williams (Karriem Shabazz). She spent her young adulthood in Detroit parenting her three daughters (Darlene, Valerie and Sumalia) before later moving to Nebraska in 1987. She spent her remaining years in Omaha/Bellevue where she worked as a dietary aide and served as a foster parent.
Celeste enjoyed good food, good music, and she knew how to dress! She was known for her no-nonsense, shoot-from-the-hip personality. Celeste was genuine and never met a stranger. She lived independently with her companion of 16 years - her beloved Shih-Tzu dog Casper. She loved family gatherings and enjoyed her family, children, and grandchildren.
Celeste was the proud, fifth-generational matriarch consisting of her three daughters - Darlene Hardy (Anthony), Valerie Pleasant (Russell, Jr.), and Sumalia Gunter (Joel Brian); 8 grandchildren - Rodgerick and Ramona Williams, DerShaun Blanding, DerNecia Phillips, Ashley Hampton, Russell Pleasant, Jr., TeAirra Richardson and Journey Green-Gunter; along with multiple great and great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by both of her parents, 2 grandchildren - Brittany Williams and Derrick Lark, Jr., her brother James Jr., and sister Ramona.
Her life informed and inspired those descendants and friends because she lived "unapologetically." She was a glorified overcomer, always ready to give sage advice, leaving a philosophical legacy of spirited saying that her family lovingly referred to as "Celeste-isms" that are certain to be passed along, and inspire many generations to come!