Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Harringtons in:
 • Rolling Green Memorial Park
 • West Chester
 • Chester County
 • Pennsylvania
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Celestine Tate Harrington
Birth: 1956
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Feb. 25, 1998
Atlantic City
Atlantic County
New Jersey, USA

Celestine Tate Harrington, a quadriplegic who wowed Boardwalk tourists for years playing an electric organ with her tongue, died Feb. 25 from injuries suffered in a traffic accident in Atlantic City. Harrington was struck by two cars Feb. 19 as she traveled down the middle of the street on her gurney. She was 42.

She was born with stunted, useless arms and legs. Her teenage mother had attempted to have an abortion, but the procedure went wrong and instead Celeste was born with limbs that stopped working below her elbows and knees. She lived, performed and traveled face down on a motorized hospital-style gurney, steering it by using her head.

In 1974, she wed a nursing home aide at the rehabilitation clinic where she lived at the time. They had one child, a daughter. Her husband's death a year later led the courts to seek custody, but the 4-foot-10 inch, 191-pound woman won the right to raise her own daughter when she demonstrated in court how she could change a diaper using only her mouth.

In 1984 she began working the Boardwalk, usually along a wall of Bally's Park Place Hotel & Casino, using a slot machine bucket to collect donations from those who wandered by and stopped to watch her play "Amazing Grace," "Born Free" and "Stormy Weather" on her battery-operated keyboard. Her favorite tunes, she said, are "We Shall Overcome" and "The Impossible Dream."

She was cited dozens of times by police for begging, soliciting, making noise or not having a mercantile license. But in 1989, city officials agreed to relax insurance requirements for her and create a special "event" permit under which she could perform legally.

In 1996 she published a book, "Some Crawl and Never Walk."
Celestine typed her autobiography with her tongue. It was published due to the financial generosity of boxing champion Evander Holyfield. He had met Celestine on the boardwalk by chance, and was inspired by her story.

She is survived by two daughters of her own and two adopted children. 
 
Burial:
Rolling Green Memorial Park
West Chester
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: eobfindagrave
Record added: Mar 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25202411
Celestine <i>Tate</i> Harrington
Added by: eobfindagrave
 
Celestine <i>Tate</i> Harrington
Cemetery Photo
Added by: TRK
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

God Bless you.
- In Memory
 Added: Nov. 3, 2013
Bless Your Sweet Soul!!! You Were Extraordinary***
- MRSHONIERAYEVAUGHAN!!!
 Added: Jun. 23, 2013
Hey Tinywild long time your god son grew up well some of the things you told did indeed happen but he is a happy productive young man just wanted you to know that and I miss you girl our talks and hanging out I was a young girl then when you did those thi...(Read more)
- TANGIE COLE
 Added: Oct. 10, 2012
There are 161 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
 
This page is sponsored by: Donna

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service