Baltimore native Celestine Knight, administrator in Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, dies

An alto, Celestine Knight enjoyed singing in the church choir.

Celestine Knight, an administrator in the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation who was active in the Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church, died of acute myeloma leukemia Sept. 1 at her sister’s Gwynn Oak home. The Randallstown resident was 77.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Chapel Street and later on Poplar Grove Street, she was the daughter and oldest child of Bernard Reed and Alma.


She attended the William H. Lemmel Middle School and was a 1963 graduate of Edmondson High School.

She earned a bachelor of science and a master’s of business administration at what is today Morgan State University.


In 1966 she joined the Baltimore City Department of Public Welfare, now the Department of Human Services.

In 1985 she transferred to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, where she served as its director of operations before retiring in 2010.

“She was a consummate professional,” said C. John Sullivan, former director of Assessments and Taxation. “She treated the rest of the staff with dignity. She herself was always meticulously dressed.”

Ms. Knight later returned to the agency for three years to assist with the transition of a new hire for her position.

Ms. Knight loved musical comedies and plays, and volunteered at the Hippodrome Theatre.

A devout Christian, she joined White Stone Baptist Church in 1958. She later joined Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church in the early 1970s, where she helped coordinate Youth and Young Adult Day.

“She was extremely dependable even if she was a little late for church,” Sheron Matthews, a church friend, said. “She was also kind and filled with encouragement for others, especially the young persons going into the ministry or getting an education.

“She was a fantastic person and had wonderful leadership skills. She was Miss Fix-it and if there was anything broken, — broken in heart or broken in spirit — she was there to encourage you to get it fixed,” Ms. Matthews said.


Ms. Knight served on committees, including Red Dress Sunday and Women’s Day. She often attended Thursday night women’s bible class.

Ms. Knight was active in the church’s Christian Training Union, where she taught discipleship classes to middle school children.

She also served on the church selection committee after the death of pastor Theodore Jackson Jr. in 2018

The Morning Sun


Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the

An alto, Ms. Knight enjoyed singing in the choir. She became a charter member of the Convocation Choir and was a member of the Silver Divas and Embracing Next Generations.

She was a 50-year member of Gillis’ Inspirational Choir and also sang in the Baltimore Fellowship Choir.

“Celestine was always conscientious in what she did,” her sister, Drietriss Thornton, said. “She gave her best and crossed every T and dotting every I. She was a generous person who was a planner and a stickler for getting things right.”


Her sister said Ms. Knight traveled widely and had visited Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and Mediterranean countries.

“She had a passion for fashion and loved to shop. She never missed an opportunity to go to Macy’s,” her sister said.

A funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church at 4016 Park Heights Ave.

Survivors include her two sisters, Drietriss Thornton and Darlene Cherry, both of Baltimore; three brothers, Ellsworth Vincent, Johnny Harris and Desi Reed, all of Baltimore; and many nieces and nephews. Her marriage to Moses P. Knight ended in divorce.