Celeste, our Mom, died peacefully with her family on March 29, 2019. She left us with many wonderful memories, and great lessons for life.
Celeste began life near Gorham, Kansas, the daughter of John and Magdalena Brungardt. For high school, she moved to Hays and was a “roomer and boarder” at the Herman home and there met her husband, Leonard, in 1939. The two had four children: Larry, Doug, Lois and Annette.
Mom was known for her pleasant disposition. She was very accepting of others and always maintained a positive outlook. She encouraged her kids to be non-judgmental; telling us to “sweep in front of your own door.” During tough times, she reminded us that “it will be better tomorrow.”
Celeste loved those close to her unconditionally and put a big priority on time with family and friends. True to her German and Western Kansas roots, this time was often spent enjoying food, coffee, and long talks around the dining table.
Mom was always a hard worker. During WWII she took care of her family, plus roomers and boarders. She had as many as a dozen people to care for at a time and she did it all: prepared meals, packed lunches, cleaned, and did laundry for the whole group. She remembers fondly the days of the war when so many people were in her home, and felt like family.
At age 50, Mom embarked on a career change, and went to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. This time of life was busy: Mom was a single parent and worked full time while pursuing her degree. Her LPN degree was an accomplishment of which she was most proud. She worked for 13 years in the teenage ward at a Wichita hospital and from there served as a private duty nurse until her retirement at age 70.
At age 90 Mom moved from Wichita to Logan, Utah. She first lived with Annette and her husband, John Harder, and then moved to Terrace Grove Assisted Living. Mom loved it and called it her “home sweet home.” She was enjoyed by the residents and staff there as well. “Such a sweet, kind woman” was a sentiment often said about Celeste.
Mom’s kids are scattered far and wide; Larry and Ingrid in North Carolina. Doug and Pat in Kansas. Lois Herman Burdick in Logan. Annette and John Harder in Logan and Park City. Celeste has 10 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. Mom also has a sister, Darlene Holzmeister, in Hays, Kansas.
The family wishes to express immense gratitude to the Sunshine Terrace Hospice team and to the residents and staff of Terrace Grove. You all made Mom feel so loved, cared for, and welcome.
Mom often said, “Love you, love you much.” Mom, we love you too, always.
Celeste’s funeral will be held at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church on April 27 at 10:00. 258 North Ohio, Wichita, Kansas. Interment will follow at Old Mission Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorials be made in the form of a donation to The Lord’s Diner, Catholic Diocese of Wichita, 316-266-4966.