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Celesta Kay Tanner

Celesta Kay Tanner Chapman of Hoover AL., passed away on Friday April 14 from terminal cancer, at her home, surrounded by loved ones.  She was born on August 20, 1944 to Jeffrey and Annie Tanner in Birmingham, AL.  She spent her childhood and teenage years in Birmingham, graduating from Ensley High School in 1962.  After graduating from Ensley, she accepted a job at Royal Cup Coffee as executive secretary and continued there until she began her career at Alabama Power/Southern Company where she remained until her retirement in 2006.  She went on to study business and accounting at Birmingham Southern College and graduated cum laude in 1988, while working full time with Southern Company.  She advanced in her career to be a Project Manager with Southern Company, traveling extensively and internationally to such places as Israel, Egypt and Canada.  In her personal life she was passionate about literacy and worked initially as a volunteer with Birmingham Baptist Literacy/M-Power and then Alfalit International intermittently for 40 years. She was a certified Alfalit trainer and went to Miami to edit literacy books and wrote the training manual for literacy facilitators that is used internationally.  She traveled to Liberia and Jamaica personally to instruct the literacy trainers and a school was named after her in Liberia.  She was also passionate about family genealogy and researched family history for over 25 years, going back to the 1400’s. She eventually wrote a book for the family genealogy and was involved with DAR(Daughters of the American Revolution)for a while as her busy schedule would permit.  She had incredible artistic talent, in which her excellent writing abilities not only helped advance her career but also helped her in writing the genealogy book, training manuals, and poetry. Her artistic talent also included sewing and quilting.  Kay was predeceased by the father of her children Richard Chapman Sr, her parents Jeffery and Annie Tanner, one of her brothers Carlton Tanner, and one of her sisters Brenda Tanner Elliot. She is survived by one daughter Karen Chapman Simpson[Tim] of Oxford, AL, one son Richard Charles Chapman Jr[Clara DelGrosso] of Fultondale, AL; 6 grandchildren; Kathryn Chapman, Anna Chapman Sumner, Richard Charles Chapman III(Trip), Hunter Simpson, Chase Simpson , Lauren Simpson.  One great grand daughter Banks McCartney Sumner. Her brothers Byron Tanner and Charles Tanner and her sisters Nancy Tanner Burton and Mary Beth Tanner and many nieces and nephews. 

She touched many lives and will be greatly missed by her family and friends. 

Her memorial will be at Church on the Bluff in Hoover on Saturday April 29th at 2:00 pm. 

Cremation Center of Birmingham (205) 970-6886