Retired Head Gardner
Dies December 21, 2021
Celeste V. Harrs, retired Barnsley Gardens Head Gardener and horticulturist died Dec. 21, 2021 in Dothan, Ala., after a brief illness.
Formerly of Little Sand Mountain, Chattooga County, she was born in St. Louis, Mo. Celeste was an outstanding athlete excelling in basketball, softball, volleyball, marksmanship, and lifeguarding. She was one of only three women to work in the test flight hanger at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft until moving to Georgia in 1965.
If you knew Celeste, then you knew a hard worker. Being a single mother of five, she was determined to raise her family in a clean, natural and organic way of life. She bought a farm on Little Sand Mountain and grew her own vegetables, fruits, herbs, had a cow and chickens. Celeste truck farmed gaining notoriety for her vegetables. All the while working for Chattooga Elementary lunchroom and third shift at Riegel (Mount Vernon). Celeste was a Boy Scout troop leader, raising two sons who became Eagle Scouts. She was a prize-winning quilter and artist of horses and landscapes.
Because of her knowledge in horticulture, Celeste was asked to join the Historic Barnsley Gardens where she designed all the Heirloom and Formal Gardens, did the seasonal changeovers, gave lectures and guided tours.
Celeste was nicknamed “Mother Nature” by the Gardens owners. Prince and Princess Fugger even had a resort cabin named in her honor at her retirement.
She was a breast cancer survivor.
Celeste had many talents, but her joy was animals, especially dogs. She had been rescuing animals since she was six, gaining a lifetime membership with the Humane Society. She rescued dogs, cats, birds, turtles, horses, chickens, goats, owls, deer and even a buzzard. If it was lost, hurt or forgotten, it wasn’t anymore when Celeste found it.
Her grandson, Quinton Ayers died earlier.
Surviving are her five children, Christina (Mike) Edwards, Trion, Bob (Jean) Harrs, Georgetown, Kyle (Terry) Harrs, Fruit Heights, Utah, Glenn (Donna) Harrs, Miller’s Creek, N.C., and Sheridan Ayers, Adairsville; eight grandchildren, Erik Powell, Nathan and Kylee Harrs, Jacob (Adrianna) Harrs, Jeremy (Dannika) Harrs, Bailey and Leigha Harrs and Dustin Ayers; three great-grandchildren, Maverik (Kaitlin) Powell, Leland Harrs and Kimball Harrs.