On Sunday, February 7, 2021, Celesta Belle Willis Lane departed this life. Born in Louisville, Kentucky on February 27, 1929, she was the youngest of the four children (Willie Mae (deceased) James Robert, Louis Nathaniel-Deceased) of William Owen Willis and his wife Mattie Lee Mack Willis.
School and church activities were important aspects of her formative years. Celesta was born into a family who loved each other, who always respected the efforts of those who sided with the weak, and those who tried to better themselves and their family.
After graduating as an honor student from Central High School in 1946, she entered Louisville Municipal College of the University of Louisville on an Alpha Kappa Alpha scholarship and where she became a member of the Beta Epsilon of Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. In 1950 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She later earned a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC.
After leaving Louisville in 1950 she was employed as a caseworker with the Department of Public Welfare in Baltimore, Maryland, and later worked at the General Accounting Office in Washington, DC.
In 1952 she married Arthur L. Lane, a Goldsboro native, then a lawyer in Washington, DC. To that union two children, Ardra and Michael were born.
In 1957 the family moved to Fayetteville where Attorney Lane established a law practice and in 1959 she became a social studies teacher in the Fayetteville City School System.
The family joined First Baptist Church with the original pastor being Dr. C.R. Edwards, the current pastor is Reverend D. Culbreth, Senior Pastor, and Dr. Cureton L. Johnson, Pastor Emeritus, and became active members. She taught Sunday School, served as Principal of Vacation Bible School, and joined Senior Retired Adults.
Her social and civic activities include Links, Inc., the Democratic Party, and Board of Directors Cumberland County Coordinating Council on Older Adults, Inc. She later transferred her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority membership to the Zeta Pi Omega chapter in Fayetteville, NC. She reached the level of a "Diamond" with a membership of 75 years. She would have been extremely elated to know that Vice-President Kamala Harris was also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
She retired from teaching after 28 years of service. She later relocated to Beckley, WV to live with her daughter in 2014. She joined Heart of God Ministries under "Watch Care" with Bishop Fred T. Simms. She was actively involved in activities at the Raleigh County Commission of Aging.
She leaves to mourn her passing, one brother, James R. Willis, Attorney in Cleveland Ohio 95 years old, a cousin Robert Willis of Atlanta Georgia 95 years, and both children, daughter, Ardra Lane Brandon, of Beckley WV and son Michael Darryl (Roberta) Lane, of Fayetteville, NC.
4 special caregivers: Janice Hairston, Dorothy Mayo, Emily Oglesby, and Della Lewis
She is not with us now and yet she will still be with us because "to live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die"
Funeral service ( By Invitation Only) will be held on Saturday, February 13th at 1:00 PM in Wiseman Mortuary Chapel. Burial will follow in Fayetteville Memorial Cemetery.
Viewing Saturday, February 13th 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the mortuary.
Arrangements entrusted to Wiseman Mortuary Inc.
To send flowers to Celesta's family, please visit our floral store.