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Celeste Cheatham O'NEIL

Obituary Condolences

O'NEIL, Celeste Cheatham

Celeste Cheatham O'Neil passed away at her residence in North Palm Beach, FL, on October 13, 2013 as a result of head injuries sustained from a fall in April. Celeste was born November 29, 1935 in Augusta, GA, and later moved to New York City, NY but never forgot her southern roots. She was the daughter of Owen Robertson Cheatham, the founder of the Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Celeste Wickliffe Cheatham. Celeste attended The Madeira School in McLean, VA, and later attended the Spence School, Finch College, and Columbia University in New York City. Celeste, "Wiki" to her southern kin, was widely known for her kind and generous spirit. Her warmth and sense of humor made everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Throughout her life, she did more for others than for herself, a trait that was visible until the end. She had many life-long friends, and even those whom she met for a short time felt as though they had known her forever. Celeste was an active supporter of the arts and education, both personally and through The Owen Cheatham Foundation, of which she was the Chairman of the Board. She had been a board member and trustee of Choate Rosemary Hall, Martha Graham Dance Company, The Museum of Broadcasting, Musica Sacra (New York), and other philanthropic organizations. She is survived by her husband, Stephen E. O'Neil of New York City, NY; her sons, Kenneth Robertson Kennerly (and wife Kelly) of Jupiter, FL, and Owen Cheatham Kennerly (and wife Sarina) of San Francisco; five grandchildren, (Carly, Charlie, Ava, Eero, and Rae); seven step-children, and eighteen step-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by her other son, Charles Wickliffe Kennerly, whom she has now joined in Heaven. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at 2:00 PM at the Lost Tree Chapel, 11149 Turtle Beach Road, North Palm Beach, FL. An additional service and burial will occur on Friday, October 18, 2013 at The New Concord Presbyterian Church in Concord, VA, where she will be laid to rest with other family members. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or to The Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation, 11520 Lost Tree Way, North Palm Beach, FL 33408.

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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, 2013
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