On Thursday, May 27, 2021, Celeste Norton Wilbanks passed away peacefully and surrounded by love.

Celeste was a devoted wife, caring mother, doting grandmother and perfect friend. Even in her last breath, Celeste carried herself in a way that made it clear: This woman has walked decades alongside Jesus.

Celeste grew up in Hull, where her parents, Nell and Fletcher Norton, built a home overflowing with gratitude and love of family. Her sister Carol Davis (Chet) and brother James Norton (Jan) were two of her best friends in life.

Married to Alvin Wilbanks for 57 years, Celeste was a matriarch who brought credence to the saying, “Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman.” She had unrivaled patience, grace, and strength that complimented him professionally and personally. His successes were hers, and she was the love of his life. Together, their greatest success remains their tight-knit family.

Her daughters, Tonya Alewine (Bleu) and Tricia Wilbanks, will never have a better girlfriend than “Mom.” She gave them the tools and confidence to love themselves and others. From “Mom,” they learned firsthand how to love their children well and put family first.

Her legacy of love lives on through her grandchildren, Brittany Sebastian, John Robinett, Stuart Robinett, Ryan Robinett and Jamie Giles; and step-grandchildren, Phoebe Alewine and Winnie Alewine; who will always carry her smile in their hearts. The cherry-on-top to her legacy is great-granddaughter, Maven, who will never forget the way those soft hands felt on hers.

Celeste lived without reservation, and she loved without hesitation. Nobody appreciates a bird singing, a blue sky, a handwritten note, or the kindness of a stranger the way Celeste did. Every day was special to her because she chose to see the “special” in every person, place and moment. Always the first to smile, to apologize, to reach out, to let her guard down - she lived with a reckless selflessness and haphazard love that we can never forget.

As the hurt continues to sink in, the road to healing will remain rocky for a while. However, as we band together and remember her, we see the evidence of the Lord’s goodness all over our lives because she was part of our stories.

Funeral service: Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville. Interment will be held on Monday, May 31, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Nicholson Cemetery.

Family to receive friends: Sunday, May 30, 2021 from 1 until 2:45 p.m. at Tom M. Wages Lawrenceville Chapel.

Published by MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Week of June 6-12

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