The Celeste Family, 1983-1991
The Governor’s Residence had stood empty for eight years when Richard and Dagmar Celeste moved in with their family in 1983. They found the house in poor condition: the roof leaked, the grounds had not been maintained, and insects and rodents had infested the property. To fund much-needed repairs, the Celeste’s established a non profit organization to pay for expenses not covered by the state budget. Governor and Mrs. Celeste also had the Residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dick Celeste’s tenure was one of the busiest periods in the history of the house. Governor and Mrs. Celeste had six children; most of them lived at the Residence at some point during their father’s term in office. One of the Celestes’ sons was married in the garden and another son had his wedding reception at the Residence.
The Celestes loved to entertain and share the Residence. They frequently hosted poetry readings, art exhibitions, and chamber music concerts. Some of their notable guests include Roslyn Carter, Jesse Jackson, and Walter Mondale. They also hosted several foreign dignitaries and noted entertainers during their years at the Residence.