We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Fred Wood Funeral Home
Age 91, who dedicated her life to serving Jesus Christ, went into the embrace of the Lord on July 22, 2022. Celeste, the second of five children born to Joseph Leonard Bowman and Margaret Hughes Bowman, grew up in Royal Oak and graduated from the Shrine of the Little Flower High School in 1948. She was awarded her BA in Philosophy from the University of Detroit in 1952 and moved to NYC, where she worked in a bookstore. With a friend, she took an 11-country tour of Europe, an exciting adventure for two young women in 1959. She was called to the convent in 1960, entered the order of Redemptoristines, and was asked to carry out her ministry in New South Wales, Australia, in a little town called Redhead. When she left the order, she employed her creative skills in writing and design for the Continuing Education Department of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and then for Parish Publications, where she produced the weekly newsletters for myriad Catholic parishes for over two decades. She returned to U of D and Sacred Heart Seminary for her Master’s studies, which were focused on spirituality in older adults, and Pastoral Studies. She presented her research project at five national conferences and an international conference in Australia.
Celeste was an enthusiastic parishioner, Eucharistic minister, and Scripture Study leader at the Shrine and later at St. Edith in Livonia. She shared her devout faith in word and deed, from her tireless visits to those in nursing homes, her innumerable volunteer hours for the church, to her cheerful interjection of “Praise the Lord!” upon hearing good news. She loved flowers of all kinds, particularly the roses at Villa Marie Retirement Community, where she resided for 25 years. She retained her sense of humor and humility and routinely expressed her gratitude for friends and family, who in turn appreciated her smile, homemade brown-sugar fudge, and artistic gifts.
Celeste was predeceased by her sister Mary Joyce Van Eck, brother-in-law Lester Van Eck, brother-in-law David Gerard Cylkowski, sister Kathleen Norton, and brother Leonard. She will be missed by her sister Connie Cylkowski, her brother-in-law Richard Norton, and her brother Len’s partner Jena Hom, along with 18 nieces and nephews and their spouses, and many grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews. Her family thanks the staff at Marywood in Livonia, who cared with such kindness for Celeste. As she would say when visitors were leaving, “Vaya con Dios!” Go with God, good and faithful servant Celeste, to walk in peace and rejoice in the kingdom of Heaven.
Celeste will be remembered with prayer at all Masses on July 30 and 31, 2022 at St. Edith Catholic Church, 15089 Newburgh Rd, Livonia, Michigan.