Celeste (CeCe) Haddon Stark Wagoner

Celeste (CeCe) Haddon Stark Wagoner

Fun-loving, romantic, beautiful, brave, creative

Celeste sparkled! She was fun-loving, romantic, caring, and sentimental. Celeste was a natural beauty, with a smile that could melt you like butter. Known as CeCe to her friends, she was kind, compassionate, and accepting of everyone. She was daring, brave, and authentic. CeCe was a thrill-seeker; she loved riding roller coasters and going to adventure parks. She took part in Rugged Manic, an epic obstacle course and festival where adults can have a day of fun and challenge themselves. She had a passion and talent for painting and was very creative.

CeCe loved being with friends and family. She enjoyed going to paint nights, watching comedies, relaxing to music with candles and incense, and spending time at the beach. As a child, her grandparents had a tradition of taking her to the circus every year. Birthdays and holidays were spent with family, sharing food, opening gifts, and playing games. Though she loved having fun and being silly, she could be moody and anxious.

Not motivated by school, she dropped out in 10th grade and later got her GED. She worked as a server and as an airline component assembler but liked bartending for the fun atmosphere and interaction with others. Celeste’s loved her siblings Chelsea, Ray, and JR, who all live in Florida. Celeste’s three children, Nathan, 16, Rhylee, 12, and Austin 10, were the light of her life. All of the children were very involved with her, though they lived with others during her struggle with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Celeste taught her children to “stop and smell the roses” and gave them all unconditional love.

CeCe loved being in love. Passionate about her love life, her husband Matthew was her priority. When they were both sober, they filled their marriage with joy and laughter; during times of active addiction, there were problems. Cece and Matthew’s biggest desire was for them both to be sober, to improve their family relationships, have financial stability, and spend time with her children.

When using drugs, CeCe would withdraw, avoid her family, sometimes lie and steal and be irritable. Her mother, Cheryl said: “Watching Celeste self-destruct and being powerless to cure her SUD was really difficult, at those times there was chaos, drama, emotional pain, and suffering for her and her loved ones.” Cheryl took custody of her two youngest grandchildren when they were toddlers; Celeste’s oldest son lives with his father in Ohio.

“Life is calmer and more predictable now, but painful without her,” her mom said. We miss the talks, hugs, hearing “I Love You,” playing games such as “Night of the Living Dead” (hide and seek in the dark), making decorations and costumes for holidays, and going on adventures together. “We love and miss her so much, her mom stated, Celeste was very special and enriched our lives with her presence.” ‘SUD is a disease, not a choice; we need more compassion, resources, and access to good treatment for people who suffer from it.’

Celeste’s mother, Cheryl Britt, provided the information for this narrative.

October 9, 1983-June 2, 2019

Age 35 – Lived with the disease of addiction 13 years

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