Celeste Upchurch Smith of Marshfield, Missouri, passed away at 12:44PM on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at the age of 73, after a prolonged battle with congestive heart failure. She is survived by her husband Alf Smith, her two children, Alinda Maxwell and Koby Smith, her niece and nephew, Bronwen Harbor and Andrew Upchurch, nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and countless other friends and family in the Ozarks and across the United States. She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Celeste Upchurch, and her older brother Buddy.
Celeste was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on August 1, 1944. Her given name was Marjorie Celeste Upchurch, but she was known to her extended family as ‘Sister’. She swam for the University of Alabama and will always be remembered as a fierce Alabama football fan. She met Alf on a blind date while working as a stewardess for Southern Airlines in New Orleans. She later told a friend that if she ever went on another date with him, she would marry him. Alf and Celeste were married on October 15, 1966. They lived in New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Denton, TX, and Bedford, TX, before moving to Marshfield, Missouri, in 1977 to be closer to extended family and to raise their kids in rural America. She lived in Marshfield up until the day that she passed.
Celeste was gifted at sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, and quilting. Despite losing the use of her right hand later in life, she made it a point to sew a quilt for each grandchild and great grandchild, as well as for the children of friends and extended family alike.
Celeste owned Butterfly Gardens, her own flower nursery and knitting & sewing business for many years. Celeste worked for 18-years at Walmart, and developed many friendships at work that she cherished to the end.
Celeste had an indomitable spirit about her. She was feisty and funny, and she would tell you exactly what she thought. Her spirit carried her through many difficult times in life.
In February of 2017, she had a heart attack while riding in the country. Alf drove her to the closest town to get help. She died and was revived twice before they could get her stabilized in the hospital. In the days that followed, she was dealt the devastating news that there was nothing the doctors could do to fix the myriad of problems with her heart. She and her family made the difficult decision to live out her days at home under Hospice care. With a prognosis that she would not live six months, it is no surprise to those who knew her that she persevered for ten.
At this time of loss, we celebrate the life that Celeste lived and the example that she set for others. If you think that you cannot do something in life, or that you are not strong enough to overcome, she would tell you that you can, and you are.
Funeral services for Celeste will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 17, 2017, at Fraker Funeral Home, Inc., Marshfield. Visitation will be before the funeral service from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Interment will be in Marshfield Cemetery.