It is with a very heavy heart that I report today that our friend Celeste Yarnall has passed away. Surrounded by her loving family, she will never be forgotten. She is forever remembered to us Trek fans as Yeoman Martha Landon in The Apple, but she was so much more.
Celeste passed on Sunday night after a hellish battle with cancer which began as ovarian four years ago and evolved into lung cancer recently. I can only imagine how awful it was when it was reported recently that she had non-stop coughing, pain, and mucus from the lung invasion. When I read that she was in hospice, I suspected that she was soon to be on her final celestial journey. I send my deepest condolences and comfort to her husband Nazim, daughter Cami, and granddaughter Gaby. You were her rock and her heart.
I first became friends with Celeste through Facebook. It was there I had learned of her cancer and I was determined to help her raise money through her cancer fund to help her with medical payments. I had sent her my interpretation of her Star Trek episode, The Apple, as a movie poster:
She liked it so much, she printed it up big and displayed it frequently at her autograph signings! I was so honored.
Inspired, I created numerous Star Trek ‘funnies‘ depicting her in her role as Yeoman Martha Landon in The Apple with Trek characters encouraging donations, like this one: I also like making artistic portraits of her as Martha the occasional collages for her business ventures like Bemer and Hemp Oil. She really enjoyed these, and was so gracious and thankful when she posted them on her blogs. I hope they helped.
One of the first things I did after making Celeste’s acquaintance was making her a pretty peach floral pillowcase. We often conversed through Facebook and I had the joyous fortune of several phone conversations with her, and we would talk health, family, and occasionally Elvis and Star Trek. She was so funny and dear, and very passionate about letting people know about wellness and the promise of Immunotherapy, which helped her battle the ovarian cancer. She was comforting to me when I was going through my time with minor breast cancer,(Stage 0 – now free) which was nothing compared to hers. But she understood my fears, and gave me comfort, which helped me through it. Forever grateful.
My only regret is that I never got to meet her personally. I couldn’t really afford a trip to Las Vegas to see her in one of her annual appearances there. If I had known this year’s would be her last, I’d have happily gone into credit debt to see her. But that is life, and I am so blessed that I got to know her in these past few years.
When I heard of her hospice care, I immediately started making a photo book for her through a photo site. It was a collection of all the funnies and posters I made for her. Sadly, although it is on its way as I write this, she’ll never see it. But I truly hope that Nazim and Cami will take comfort in it as a memorial. They have worked so hard for her, and I pray they know that all their efforts were not in vain.
Celeste’s last artistic request to me was for a poster that read “Keep Calm and Beam Me Up” I made the one below, and she was very pleased. Yet I can’t help but think that she knew the end was coming, and this was her subtle way of saying goodbye. And now that she has beamed up to the celestial heavens, I know she will be welcomed there with all the love and more that she had on Earth. Goodnight Dearest, Sweet Yeoman, my friend. You are forever in my heart. <3