CELESTINE (‘Celeste”) LOUISE FOLMAR was born on March 30, 1944 in Inkster, MI, the third of five children born to the union of Lelon and Amanda Haddon. A shy child and self-proclaimed good girl, Celeste grew up in church, enjoyed cooking and dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher. Celeste graduated from Inkster High and attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, before completing her degree in Business Administration at Wayne State. It was in her first year at Ferris that she met the love of her life, Leonard Folmar. The couple wed on April 30, 1968 and resided in Romulus, MI for 16 years, during which time, Celeste began her 35 year career with United Airlines, and they welcomed into the world two sons, Winston and Marcus. After working her way up to Operations Manager in Detroit, a promotion in 1984 moved the family to Denver, where Celeste managed customer service at one of the airline’s busiest hubs and later became the highest ranking African American female executive in the company when she was promoted again to Regional Manager of Reservations (the position she held until her retirement in 2003). During her 20 years in Denver, Celeste served at Gethsemane COGIC and worked with a number of charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and nodding to her early interest in education, a training program she engineered with Brighton High School to mentor students considering a career in travel and tourism.
After retirement and upon moving to Las Vegas, Celeste’s passion for ministry, community and teaching only intensified with the work she did at her new church home, The Wealthy Place Ministries COGIC and with Community Partners For Better Health (CPBH), a nonprofit aimed at eliminating health disparities within underserved communities. Under the leadership of Overseer Bill and First Lady Faye McDonnell for some 20 years, Celeste became a licensed Missionary, served as The Wealthy Place’s Director of Public Relations and worked with numerous auxiliaries, including the Growth ministry and the Ambassadors, which she led. During her tenure as CPBH’s Chairman of the Board, Celeste launched several perennially anticipated health and wellness initiatives including Choose and Move, an annual fitness and health screenings fair, the Nevada Mental & Behavioral Health Symposium and the annual Health Advocate Awards.
Celeste completed her earthly assignment at home in Las Vegas on April 7, 2020 and transitioned to glory to join her brother Theodore and most cherished sister Patricia who preceded her in death. Celeste leaves to tell her story her husband Leonard, her son Winston (Dinisa), son Marcus, grandson Jadon, special niece Jeri Young (Glenn), stepdaughter Jill Folmar, brothers Bishop Clarence Haddon (Joyce) and David Haddon (Rosetta); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, friends, colleagues, and countless individuals from within the community of Las Vegas at large who bore witness to her grace, benefitted from her wisdom or basked in the joy of her laughter. Wife, Mother, Sister, Auntie, Gammy, Godmother, Cousin, Friend. Rest now, Celeste. For generations shall we speak your name and remember your light.
The Community Partners for Better Health board of directors would like to recognize the many years that our chair, Celeste Folmar, dedicated to improving the health for communities of color and all Nevadans. Celeste completed her earthly mission on April 7, 2020. We will all miss her passion, her humor, and her energy. She left big shoes for the rest of us to fill as we continue to promote health equity in Southern Nevada.