Celeste Holdenberg, age 97 years, of Jefferson City, MO passed away peacefully Monday, June 1, 2020 at her daughter’s home in Chicago surrounded by family.
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Celeste was born on January 29, 1923 in Piedras Negras, Mexico, a daughter of Marcial and Angela Vidouri (Garcia) Riojas.
On January 3, 1943 she married the love of her life Henry Holdenberg, who preceded her in death on April 19, 2006. They immigrated to the United States early in their marriage and proudly became American citizens.
Celeste was remembered by everyone who met her. She drew people in with her fascinating stories and embellished tales from her experiences, homeland, and life.
Celeste was a talented artist, and she was always willing to share both her love for great works of art, and her own beautiful paintings. She generously donated her work to The HALO Foundation every year. Celeste’s artistic “gene” was passed on to many of her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.
Most of all, Celeste was devoted to God and her family. As the matriarch of the family, she led by example, expressing her love through lively conversations, warm homemade tortillas, steaming hot coffee, an open door, and an open heart. She cherished every moment, every word, every hug. Her children called her Mami, but to everyone else in the world, she was affectionately known as Abuelita.
Survivors include: four children, Rosalinda Keith of Jefferson City, MO, Henry Holdenberg (wife Lisa) of New Hudson, MI, Joyce Neuenswander (husband Joe) of Jefferson City, MO, and Vera Faldner (husband Barry) of Chicago, IL; one nephew, Edward Longoria (wife Maureen, son Cody); ten grandchildren, Celeste Amrosius (husband Eric), Curtis Neuenswander (wife Sarah), Natalie Abbott (husband Jason), David Keith, Rebecca Welsh (husband Eddie), Nicholas Holdenberg (Michelle Hill), John Henry Neuenswander (wife Kayla), Elizabeth Holdenberg (Chris Turner), Vera Schmitz (husband Matthew) and Matthew Holdenberg; and 26 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband of 63 years; Henry, one son, Cesar Avenir Holdenberg on October 24, 1973; and a son-in-law, David Keith, Sr.
Due to the pandemic, a private Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at St. Martin’s Catholic Church with the Reverend Stephen Jones officiating. Graveside services and interment will be held at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.
A recording of Celeste’s service will be posted to her memorial page on Freeman Mortuary’s website by Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Friends may mail sympathy cards to the funeral home or leave condolences online to be given to her family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to The Halo Foundation and friends can give a gift in her memory by going to www.haloworldwide.org.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary, 915 Madison Street, Jefferson City, MO, 65101.