Celeste Gagliardi spent her days in living color.

Since 1983, the Mahtomedi woman worked as a professional clown, performing at corporate events, birthday parties and even the 1990 Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

“She was definitely an entertainer,” said her sister, Gabrielle Louismet of White Bear Lake. “She was very enthusiastic about whatever it is she did. She never said ‘no.’ ”

Gagliardi, 68, died unexpectedly Jan. 28. She was born and raised in St. Paul.

With her company, Rainbow Productions, Gagliardi did personal appearances at birthday parties, elderly care facilities and corporate events. Many of her characters were inspired by her Italian heritage, of which she was fiercely proud.

In 1987, Gagliardi was inducted into the Midwest Clown Association Hall of Fame.

In 1990, Gagliardi won the title of Klondike Kate, the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s brassy saloon singer.

“She tried several times — at least four, five, six times. She tried because she loved it so much,” Louismet said. “She just loved the Winter Carnival.”

Gagliardi was also a Lady-in-Waiting with the Winter Carnival’s Senior Royalty in 2010.

A service will be held at 9:30 a.m. March 4 at Hazel Park Congregational Church, 831 E. Minnehaha Ave., in St. Paul.

Copyright 2017 Pioneer Press.