Celeste Durham Wilson


Celeste Durham Thornton Wilson, of Thomasville, GA, born on June 15, 1932 passed away on April 9, 2019. She is survived by two daughters: Carla Thornton Inman (Bill) of Thomasville and Kay Thornton Sturniolo (Joe) of Atlanta. She is also survived by grandchildren Julie Rasmussen (Josh) of Thomasville, William Inman (Danielle) of Washington, D.C., and Katie Cruce (Bryan) of Atlanta, GA. She is also survived by Great Grandchildren: Will and Jane Rasmussen. In 1992 Celeste was married to Wesley Wilson of Thomasville, GA, the father of Donna Wilson Sanders (Buddy) of Sylvan, NC and the Reverends Mary Jane and Scott Wilson-Parsons of Ocean Island Beach, NC and the grandparent of Wesley and Amanda Simon-Parsons of Taon, VA and Thomas Parsons of Raleigh, NC and great-grandfather of Sophia Grace Parsons. Celeste was one of 11 children born to Merle and Fletcher Durham of Banks County. GA on June 15, 1932. She was preceded in death by Annelle Durham, Jack Durham (Sally); Clinton Durham (Jackie); JD Durham (Lorie), Majell Durham Hallford, Willene Durham Osborn, Joyce Durham Barrett and Evelyn Durham Mitchell. Surviving are Dwight Durham (Mary Lou) and Max Durham. This large family has been expanded by many nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom live in the North Georgia area where they were born and raised. At Piedmont College, overcoming her childhood shyness, Celeste became a basketball cheerleader, took the stage through the drama club, was voted onto the homecoming court and served as several class of 1952 officers. Later in Life, she became active on the Alumni Association Board, and was presented the Alumni Service Award in 2002 for her work in organizing the "Friends of the Fifties" activities for Alumni weekends.
Practicality turned her to teaching as a career, beginning with study at Women's College of Georgia qualifying her as a teacher. Earning a Masters degree at the University of Georgia, she was inducted there into Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. As an avid reader who enjoyed discussing books at reading clubs, it was fitting that she earned a Six Year Degree and became a Reading Specialist. After she and her family moved to Thomasville in 1969, she spent the next 24 years, first as librarian, and the next 11 years teaching in Thomasville City School's Gifted Program.
Over the years her creative spirit led her to flower arranging, home decorating, water color painting and writing. She honed her writing skills by co-authoring with her sister, three children's books and more recently, wrote a memoir for the husband of her dear friend at Piedmont, Jean Banks Caudell. She won the First Place Award two years for the Garden Club of Georgia poetry contest. She enjoyed a variety of interests including hiking the Appalachian Trail, participating in a mission trip to Haiti, touring Europe, acting in Thomasville On Stage productions, enjoying golf for a few years and singing as long as she could in her church choir. She taught many years in the adult Lawson Neel Sunday School class of First United Methodist church, one of her most beloved activities. She served her church in the capacity of President of the local United Methodist Women (UMW) organization as as well as the district UMW. Throughout her life, friends and family admired her talent for teaching, appreciated her playfulness and enjoyed her keen sense of humor and intellect.
Service will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Methodist Church of Thomasville. Visitation immediately following the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Thomasville First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 975, Thomasville, Georgia 31799. Family and friends are invited to visit her online life tribute page at www.allenfh.com
Published on April 11, 2019
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1 posts

Forenz a Chatmon
Apr 15, 2019
A life so well lived leaves a mountain of memories. As you encounter these in the future, you will experience her a fresh time and time again. I share your loss and offer you my sincere sympathy.