New Scholarship Supports Foreign Language Study

(Dec. 2022) The family of Celeste Wuersig has established a scholarship in her honor and memory with the Allegany County Area Foundation (ACAF). The Belfast native and long-time Cuba resident passed away on March 6, 2022.

Born in 1949 to parents Dominic P. and Dorothy Curcio, Celeste’s youth in Belfast, NY included a large, loving extended family, hosting international students, and the natural beauty around her – which she enjoyed exploring, displaying an early curiosity and love of learning that characterized her whole life. An avid learner and reader, Celeste acquired a large repertoire of information about a broad variety of subjects and was comfortable speaking to anyone about almost any topic. She loved learning about nature, gardening, all types of cuisine, politics, culture, history, eclectic varieties of music, and, most especially, languages.

In 1965 Celeste fell in love with the man who would become her husband of 55 years, Klaus Wuersig, originally of Görlitz, Germany. Married in 1966, they had three children, their (late) son, Erich Wuersig, and two daughters, Elke (Wuersig) Miot, and Renate Wuersig. Their life together included countless adventures, including extensive domestic and international travel, fighting a proposed nuclear waste dump in Allegany County, and living overseas in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

To learn Klaus’s native German, Celeste first learned alongside their young children, then started taking language courses at Houghton College. Eventually she completed her coursework in advanced literature and graduated with honors in 1988 with a double major in German and French. She continued connecting with people from all over the world, and took additional classes and independent study in Russian, Arabic, Farsi, and Italian.

In addition to her interests and accomplishments, Celeste is remembered by her family as a wise, fun, and loving wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Her curiosity and love of learning continues through her children, who she encouraged to pursue their own passions.