Celeste Walkup Usler (1933-2016)

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Celeste Walkup Usler (February 27, 1933 to March 19, 2016) [submitted photo]

Best described as thoughtful, kind, loving, caring, giving, Celeste enjoyed life to its fullest. She lived her life through Jesus’ teachings.

Celeste was born on February 27, 1933 to Douglas and Tonci Walkup, in Batesville, Arkansas. When she was three, they moved her and her sister Jane to Coronado, which she always called “the end of the rainbow”. She enjoyed her school years, making friends that would last a lifetime. She was a song leader, pom pom girl, and journalist for the Coronado High School paper. She modeled for Mrs. Kipperman, and worked at the local theatre. Celeste graduated Coronado High School class of ’51.

She married a Navy Seal, William Johnston, with whom she had one daughter, Laura Johnston. She lived in San Diego, and worked as an apartment rental agent, and as an animal control dispatcher for the County. She loved to design clothing and jewelery, as well as crafting and painting. She made beautiful flower arrangements, wedding cakes, and cards for the soldiers overseas.

Her ties to Coronado continued. She attended all the class reunions, even being on the planning committee for many. Celeste loved and attended many 4th of July parades, making many a girls’ weekend out of them, and adored attending the concerts in the park.

She moved to Washington state to be close to family as her health declined. She was a Red Hatter, loved cats, and loved to fish. Her favorite thing was always dancing! She is survived by her daughter, Laura, to whom she was not only both mother and father, but also best friend. She is also survived by nieces, a nephew, and many grand nieces and nephews, including one special niece whom she adored, Karen Anderson.

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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She and her husband Harry are thrilled to call Coronado home and raise their two children here. In her free time enjoys reading, hitting the gym and walking her dog around the “island”.

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