Celeste Marie Taylor

December 17, 1925 ~ September 26, 2021 (age 95)


Celeste Marie Quick Taylor, 95, of Tolono, passed away September 26, 2021 at Carriage Crossing in Arcola.

Celeste Marie Quick was born on December 17, 1925, the third of four daughters born to Preston Quick and Jennie Stewart Lorenz Quick in Webster Groves, MO.  She graduated at 16 years of age from Webster Groves High School.  In her later teenage years she worked summer at her father’s law office.

Celeste attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL on a full scholarship.  At MacMurray she studied business and was on the horseback riding team, was in the student government association, was a sponsor for Phi Tau Epsilon, belonged to Lambda Alpha Mu and participated in the synchronized swimming group.  She then completed a graduate degree in Commerce and Business Education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  After graduation she accepted a job offer from Ralston Purina in St. Louis and worked there until her marriage.

She married Robert William Bretzlaff of Tolono on December 24, 1947.  They had three children all of whom survive:  Robert Stewart Bretzlaff of Bryan, TX, Karen Wynn Bretzlaff of Tolono, and Katherine Nelle Bretzlaff of College Station, TX.  Also surviving are three grandchildren William, Lindsey, and Abigail; two great-grandchildren: Zachary and Ethan; one sister Nancy Quick McHugh of San Antonio, TX; a cousin, Jean Graubner of Kirkwood, MO and numerous other cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Celeste returned to the U of I-UC for another graduate degree from the College of Education in Guidance and Counseling in the mid-1960’s.  She then began her teaching career at Unity High School in Tolono in 1964.  She taught Business Math and served as a guidance counselor for a number of years.  She retired from teaching in 1984.  She later worked at the U of I in the Department of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

Celeste married William J. Taylor on December 8, 1971.  Together they enjoyed square dancing, potluck dinners at the Presbyterian Church, traveling, and getting together with family.  William (Bill) passed away December 7, 1999.

Celeste was a member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Tolono; a member of Alliance Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of Delmar D. Darrah Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of Tolono.

Celeste made numerous trips to Texas and California to visit her children and grandchildren through the years and we have many happy memories of Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and graduations blessed by her presence.  When she couldn’t be present for various events she spent great effort and care in putting together boxes of gifts selected for each person.  She was known for the thoughtful crafts that she cross stitched to acknowledge wedding and births of grandchildren.  She was bright, talented, social, generous, and a very determined lady.  She will be sorely missed.

Celeste is survived by several stepchildren:  Wanda Dunlap Knell (Bill) of Urbana, Daniel Taylor (Angie) of Mattoon, and Teresa Casey to Tolono.  Celeste is also survived by step-grandchildren: William, Jason, Becki, Carri, Sarah, Heather, Danielle, Teale, JC, Christina, Kevin, and Robin, and by numerous step-great-grandchildren.

Celeste was preceded in death by her sisters Ruth Quick Ruhl of Wheaton, IL, Hortense Quick Arno of Pacific Palisades, CA; her brothers-in-law Charles Ruhl, Wally Arno, and Edgar Lee McHugh; her son-in-law Clifford Spiegelman: and a nephew, Preston Kenneth McHugh.  She was also preceded in death by two stepchildren, William D. Taylor and David L. Taylor and by four step-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 10:00 AM on Monday October 4 at First Presbyterian Church in Tolono, followed by a ceremony by Delmar D. Darrah Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star of Tolono and a Celebration of Life service at the church at 11:00 AM.  Immediately following there will be a graveside service at Bailey Memorial Cemetery in Tolono.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Champaign County Humane Society in remember of Celeste and her beloved companions and friends, Gizmo and Angus

Condolence may also be made at


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Celebration of Life
October 4, 2021

10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church (Tolono)

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