Celeste West
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Celeste West Celeste West's spirit released her body to go exuberantly adventure in other realms, on January 3rd. She was 65. Celeste is survived by her partner and co-vivante of six years Tina Perricone and their orange tabby cat, Sienna Pumphrey Gabor; sisters, Sue Ann Johnson and Katherine Karr of Portland, OR; many loving nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and many many friends across the country. Celeste received her BA in journalism from Portland State U, later entering the ranks of professional librarians, having graduated from Rutgers in 1968. She headed to San Francisco in 1968. Celeste worked in the Bay Area Reference Center (BARC) 1968-1973 where she helped publish Synergy, a library periodical which won at least two awards. With Elizabeth Katz, Celeste edited Revolting Librarians, which they then published with Sue Critchfield as Booklegger Press in 1972. A bestseller in the library world, it continues to inspire librarians today. In 1973 the final issue of Synergy was published and Celeste initiated Booklegger Magazine, "built to begin where Synergy leaves off," which was published until 1976. Celeste also wrote or edited and published through Booklegger Press, the following books: Women's Films in Print (1975); Positive Images, Non-Sexist Films for Young People (1976); Booklegger's Guide to the Passionate Perils of Publishing (1978); Words in Our Pockets: The Feminist Writers Guild Handbook on How to Gain Power, Get Published and Get Paid (1985); Elsa: I Come With My Songs (a biography of Else Gidlow, 1986), Lesbian Love Advisor (her bestseller, 1989) and her "most controversial book, the one which every feminist publisher and even a printer rejected," Lesbian Polyfidelity: How to Keep Nonmonogamy Safe, Sane, Honest, and Laughing, You Rogue! (1996). On April Fool's Day 1989 Celeste began work as the library director at the San Francisco Zen Center until her retirement in Autumn 2006. Celeste was a devout anarchist, feminist and Buddeo-Pagan. She is most often compared to a shooting star. Donations in Celeste's memory can be made to: KPFA radio, Recovery Inc., the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, or plant a tree in her memory at Arbor Day Foundation. If you cannot donate, no worries, you can creatively agitate for peace and justice, and follow your bliss. As Celeste would say, "Oh yez. oh yes, oh yez." For information regarding the memorial, call the Neptune Society or email celestewest555@yahoo.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 20, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
February 8, 2008
Thank you to all who are signing this guestbook. The celebration/memorial for Celeste's life is happening in San Francisco on Saturday February 23rd. Please contact me if you interested in attending.
Tina Perricone
February 5, 2008
It's been decades since I saw Celeste, but I remember her as beautiful, friendly, civil, attractive, creative, and thoroughly decent. Her energy went into so many good and inspiring projects, like Booklegger. I am grateful to have known her.
Dorothy Bryant
January 31, 2008
Inspiring woman,feminist and spiritual seeker, may you find peace in a heart breaking world filled with joy and pain, love and sorrow, all things and their opposite. We will miss your spirit that sparked a fire. Fly on!
Nyla Dartt
January 31, 2008
Celeste's contribution to librarianship, intellectual freedom, support of co-workers, and generally speaking out loudly on numerous issues will last for many years. The staff and public of the San Francisco Public Library, those who knew you and those not fortunate to have met you, are forever in your debt. Thank you, friend, fellow outspoken librarian, mentor, and role model.

Catherine M. Bremer
Andrea V. Grimes
Ruth Maginnis, Retired
Melissa Riley
Vicki Susoev
Betty Williams
Officers, San Francisco Public Library Chapter, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1021
Andrea Grimes
January 28, 2008
Thank you mighty warrior-ess for your kindness, love of feminism, quality of work, friendship and ongoing perserverence. We are all the better because of you. Rest now, gather your wits and proceed with whatever is next. Love, Annie Hershey
Annie Hershey
January 27, 2008
I will never forget you! Your influence lives on~

Moyra Kali Lang
moyra lang
January 26, 2008
Dear Celeste,
Although we've been out of touch these many years, we know that the world is a better place for you having been in it. Be in peace...
All our love,
Joel and Rose-Ellen Leonard Rutgers, 1968
Joel and Rose-Ellen Leonard
January 24, 2008
Celeste made such a wonderful contribution to our profession. I still have my issues of Booklegger. I am proud to have known her. May she rest in peace.
Kay Cassell
January 23, 2008
We lose another heroine. I would not have made it through library school in the mid-1970s without _Booklegger_ magazine and Celeste West's inspiring prose. I never met her in person, and to all who had that privilege, my deepest sympathy for your loss.
Sue Searing
January 23, 2008
Dear Celeste:

You are so inspiring. Thank you for the meaningful, revolutionary work you have left us.

Thank God I was fortunate to find you by chance in library school. You should be recommended reading for all of us. You are a muse.

Peace be with you,

erin
erin moore
January 23, 2008
Celeste West: "unbossed and unbought".
Toni Samek
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