This page is dedicated to my Mom, Celeste Agatha Green Thornton (affectionately known as "Sis" to family and friends.) Mom was laid to rest today (May 19, 2004); she suffered through the effects of Alzheimer's Disease for many years, and slipped away quietly on Sunday morning, May 16. We will miss her greatly, but the truth is that we've missed her for a long time already. Such is the nature of Alzheimer's.

As is mentioned in the obituary to the right, Mom enjoyed her family most of all, and the more the merrier. My best memories of Mom have to do with birthdays and Christmas and any other occasion she could think of to get a bunch of people together. She and Dad worked tirelessly providing for the nine of us, and Mom always went the extra mile to add special touches to everything.

I'll be posting photographs of Mom on this page as I get them digitized, and will also post memories of Mom from me and anyone else who takes the time e-mail me or call me with their story.

One of my favorite memories of Mom is from the early '80's; I had graduated from high school and was still living at home, on the acreage near Hartford. As with most farm places, there were several stray cats that lived around the place, and one spring day, Greg found a brand new litter of kittens in the haystack near the shed. The mother didn't care much for the intrusion, so she moved the kittens, but left two of them behind. When I got home that evening, the two of them were nearly dead from the wet and cold, so I brought them inside, found a box, a blanket, and a heating pad, and became "Mom" to them. Mom wasn't much of an animal fan, so she wasn't very pleased with me, but put up with her new "grandkids" — she even gave me a Mother's Day card that year!

The kittens grew into cats, and of course knew nothing of Mom's distaste for cats. Having grown up with people, the cats favorite place was on a lap. Any time that Mom was outside sitting in a lawn chair or working in the garden, one or both of the cats was right there with her, trying to get as close as possible. "Damn cats!" was her usual response, but I think down deep she really liked the cats!

Celeste A. "Sis" Thornton
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls - Celeste A. "Sis" Thornton, 78, died Sunday, May 16, 2004 at the Avera Prince of Peace nursing home in Sioux Falls.

Celeste was born March 30, 1926 to George and Floris M. (Butts) Green in Sioux Falls. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 1943. Celeste then worked as a Sales Clerk at Paramount Studio in Sioux Falls.

On September 20, 1947, Celeste married Hollace "Swede" Thornton in Sioux Falls. She worked at J.C. Penney from 1966 - 1973 and then for the Thornton Carpet Store. Swede died June 4, 1987.

Celeste was a member of St. Joseph Cathedral, Cathedral Club, Birthday Club, and was a charter member of the Mother of Twins Club (MOTC). She greatly enjoyed playing Bingo.

Celeste is survived by four sons: Richard (Dawn) of Harrisburg, SD, Robert of Chester, SD, David (Yvonne) of Sioux Falls, Gregory (Lori) of Sioux Falls; five daughters: Cheri (Glen) Ilse of Sioux Falls, Cindi (John) Colton of Sioux Falls, Sarah (Dave) Husby of Sioux Falls, Susan (Rich) Barden of Newort Beach, CA, Mary (Doug) Bowden of Sioux Falls; two brothers: George W. "Bud" (Darlene) Green of Bloomington, MN, Daniel (Marcia ) Green of Seattle, WA; three sisters: Marilyn Baecker of Sioux Falls, Clare (Richard) Dargen of Torrance, CA, Carolee Buehler of Henderson, NV; a sister-in-law, Faye (Bud) Hill of Las Vegas, NV; 27 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, a sister, Delicia "Ree" West, and a brother, Jerrould Green.

She loved her children and the grandchildren were the light of her life. She always said she was raised in a crowd and she was "responsible" for creating her own crowd. The family gatherings were large and she delighted in being the center.

Visitation will be Tuesday the 18th, 4 p.m., at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home with a Scripture Vigil at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday the 19th, 1:30 p.m., at St. Joseph Cathedral.

The family has requested that memorials be directed to the Alzheimer's Unit at Avera Prince of Peace.