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Born: Mon., Apr. 25, 1938
Died: Tue., Feb. 11, 2020


3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Sun., Feb. 16, 2020
Location: Celentano Funeral Home

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 AM Mon., Feb. 17, 2020
Location: St. Bernadette's Church

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William C. Celentano Jr., 81, a lifelong resident of the City of New Haven passed away peacefully, after a brief illness on February 11, 2020 with his entire family by his side.
Bill (or Billy) was the dedicated husband of Gigi Mauro Celentano. Born in New Haven April 25, 1938 he was the son of the late Mayor William C Celentano and Marian Piontek Celentano.
He was a practicing embalmer and funeral director since July 1, 1963 after attending Villanova University and the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science but was a member of the Celentano Funeral Home, where he worked closely with his father starting in 1957. His dedication to the City of New Haven was exemplary. He was appointed to the Board of Finance by Mayor DiLieto in 1983 and eventually resigned to accept a position on the Board of Fire Commissioners. The New Haven Fire Department was his true passion since spending time at Engine 3 on Park and Elm St as a young man. As Secretary and then President of Box 22 Associates he coordinated the implementation of the Box 22 Firefighters Emergency Canteen which he personally drove to multiple alarm fires at all hours of the day and night to serve refreshments to the tired men and women of the New Haven Fire Dept which he referred to as his extended family. Eventually he received the Civilian Award from Local 825, the highest honor a person could receive from outside Fire Service. The Commissioner also served on the New Haven Fire and Police Pension Board, Hospital of St. Raphael Foundation, Greater New Haven Jaycees, the International Fire Buffs Assoc., and co-authored the book of New Haven Firefighters, published by Arcadia in their “Images of America” series. He was also a member of the Greater New Haven, Connecticut, and National Funeral Directors Associations. In 1962 he became a member of the Amity Club with his father and uncles, serving as its President in 1967, and was the Executive Director of the Amity Charitable Trust from 1972 to 1982.Besides his wife Gigi he is survived by his sons Mark (Jerilyn), Robert (Maria), William III (Carolina) and daughter Donna (Anthony) DeFrancesco, his step children Vincent E. (Nicole) Mauro Jr. and Melissa (Michael) Desmond, and his grandchildren Krista and Nicholas Celentano and Bronson and Mason Desmond. Friends and family are invited to pay their respects at our funeral home which he ran tirelessly, the Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven on Sunday from 3-7 PM and are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial in Saint Bernadette Church Monday at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery. Memorial Contributions may be made in his name to the Amity Charitable Trust, PO Box 8626, New Haven, CT 06531 or the Office of Radio and Television. where he would watch Mass at ORTV, Inc. 15 Peach Orchard Road, Prospect, Connecticut 06712-1052.

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Condolence Booklet

Frank A Quadrino
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
Dear Mark, Gigi & family,

We are so sorry to hear about his passing. It was a real honor for my son & I to sit with him last week. He helped so many people here and when we hear of rewards in the Heavens, for certain he is receiving his in abundance.

Frank, Evelyn & Christian Quadrino

David W MacDonald
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
Dear Mark and family, our prayers are with you. May he rest in peace

David W. MacDonald

Laurie Ades Penney
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
Dear Mark, I am so sorry to hear of your father's death. Sending heartfelt sympathy at this difficult time. With love, Laurie

Stephen H Raffel
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
I was a classmate of Bill at Hopkins('56). He attended our September class luncheon. Bill was a wonderful person. He had a fun loving smile and was a true gentleman. You could always count on him to be a kind human and a true friend when you needed one.

Bill will be greatly missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to have him as part of our lives.

Steve Raffel

Patricia Cavallaro
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020

Among the Clouds Basket was sent by Cousin Pat and Debbie.

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family Gigi. Rest In Peace, Bill. With love, Pat Cavallaro and Debbie Williams

Tom and Halina Santoro
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
To the Celentano Family,

Please accept our sincere condolences for your loved one and our brother at the Amity Club.

Tom and Halina Santoro

Bob Trotta
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
To the Celentano Family-

Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Celentano. Please know that you will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Mark Ferraro
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
We offer our deepest condolences to Gigi and the Celentano family.

Sincerely, The Ferraro family

Andrew Dean LaPorta
   Posted Fri February 14, 2020
To the entire Celentano Family, Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of "Bill". He was a great mentor to me , when I was a young aspiring funeral director. What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. Bill always reminded me of that. Also, having graduated from Southern Connecticut and the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, Bill always sent me in the right direction. My prayers are forever with Bill. There is no doubt in my mind, that Bill was an extension of our creator and possessed all the qualities of a decent human being. We are so lucky to have known him. Sincerely, Andy, Joanne and Gregory La Porta, Las Vegas, Nevada (formerly of Southington, Conn).

   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
My condolences to your family. Bill was a great person and a friend to my family as was his Dad. May God Bless you all.

Robert Pidskalny, Sr.
   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
Mark and Family

My deepest sympathy
Your Dad was a True

Robert Pidskalny, Sr.
Hamden, Ct

Cheryl Vitelli&Family
   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
deepest Condolences to Bills Family May he Rest inPeace He was A Very Kind ManAnd He Did A wonderful Job As a Business Man With His Services

Howard Lurie
   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
My Sincerest Sympathy to the Celentano Family!!

Mike and Judy Maraucci, Sebastian, Florida
   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
To the Celentano family our sincere sympathy on Bill’s passing. Our friendship goes back many years, as kids Dwight Street was our playground. He was a great guy, who will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lieutenant Richard Rowe
   Posted Sat February 15, 2020
worked at engine nine for 12 years and had many a Saturday night dinner with three bean salad will miss Bill very much my condolences to the family the fiire department and i will miss him very much. my love and prayers Rick Rowe

Florence Bellonio
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
To The Celentano Family: Very sorry to hear of the passing of Bill who was a great person. Florence Bellonio + Family

Maria A. Nuzzo (Serpis)
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
To the Celentano Family,

We are so sorry to hear of Bills passing. He had a heart of gold. Always helpful and guide us in our time of sorrow. May he RIP.

   Posted Sun February 16, 2020

Maria Giordano
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
My sincere condolences and prayers for your entire family. He was always so pleasant when he came to our shop. May he rest in peace and you be consoled with all the fond memories you must have made with him.

Judith Freed
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with the Celantano family. In 1959, my Dad passed away. My Mom called Bill Sr. to make arrangements for the services.
In 1967 I was planning my wedding. My Mom, once again called Bill Sr. to arrange a limo for the wedding. Much to my surprise Bill Jr. was the driver and Bill Sr. told my Mom it was his gift to me. Fond memories of all of the family.
Judith Mastrangelo Freed

Patti & Stan Dudienski
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
Please accept our sincere condolences on Bill's passing.

He was always a gentleman and always had something interesting to say at meetings of the various fire buff clubs that we belonged to.

Dale J Fiore General Manager Evergreen Cemetery and Crematory
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
My deepest condolences,
Bill was a great mentor and supporter to me when I started in the death care industry back in 1986. His wisdom and kindness will be sorely missed at Evergreen Cemetery and Crematory.

Paul Crispi
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
Our deepest sympathies from the Crispi family. My mother, Marie Crispi, went to high school with Billy and they were friends for decades. He was always so friendly and Happy to see us when we visited as kids. He was a great man.

Robert (Bob) Phipps
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
To All Members of Bill's Family
Please accept my sincerest Sympathy on the passing of 'your loved one' and a former
Classmate/Roommate of mine while attending The San Francisco College of Mortuary
Science. Bill and I had the distinction of being the only students in our class from the
East Coast; I was from Norfolk, Virginia. Those were memorable times in many ways;
we had lots of fun in addition to our studies. That year flew by before we knew it, but
good memories last a life time! Bill, you and your beautiful family are in my thoughts
and prayers at this difficult time. Peace Be With You! Bob Phipps (Class of June 1961)

Patrick Andrews
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. The most devoted friend the NHFD ever had.
Rest In Peace. God bless

Jack Warner, Delray Beach, Florida
   Posted Sun February 16, 2020
To the Celentano Family,

For my family, Billy was a source of comfort and a reminder of the continuance of life, even in death. The passing of my grandparents, Sal and Lucy Esposito, my parents Jack and Josephine Warner, and my sister Sheila Warner were all made easier by Billy’s reassuring and professional presence.

Steve Haritos
   Posted Mon February 17, 2020
Bill you helped our family through some tough times and you & your establishment is a friend of the Greek Orthodox community. Deepest sympathy to your family. R.I.P.

Matt Bailey
   Posted Mon February 17, 2020
To Mark and all of the Celentano family,

Please know of my thoughts and prayers. Mr. Celentano was always gracious and I remember fondly chatting with him at the carnival at St. Bernadette's each year.

-Matt Bailey and all of us at B.C. Bailey Funeral Home

John W. Ford
   Posted Mon February 17, 2020
Dear Gigi, Mark and the entire Celentano family,

Once again may I extend our deapest sympathy on Bill's passing. He was crtainly a dedicated funeral director for so many years. As I mention last night, Bill and I Co-Chaired the Conn. Funeral Director's Assoc. Disaster Commttee for many years.

We both had an interest in Fire Service too, as we both served on our local Fire Commissions and also had the honor of serving as Chairman of the commission. What an honor to see so many firefighters, both active and retired turnout to honor Bill.

Although he is absent from you now, I know he will live on in your hearts forever.


John W. Ford, CFSP
Chairman of the Board,
Alderson-Ford Funeral Homes, Inc.

Cynthia Teixeira
   Posted Mon February 17, 2020
To Bill’s family, we will always hold a special place in our hearts for him. Such a wonderful man and we consider friend since so many members of our family
passed through those doors on Dwight St. You all gave us wonderful service when we were in need, but the kindness and friendship are everlasting. Please know that we will keep you all in our prayers and wish you God’s peace. With fond regards.
The Teixeira , Pina, Hopwood and Varella Families

Tony Dawson
   Posted Mon February 17, 2020
Gigi Celentano and Family,

It is with sadness to learn of Billy's passing, I really enjoyed his friendship, as well as being a Commissioner like him given back to the community. May he rest in peace.

Diane Petrillo
   Posted Wed February 19, 2020
I would like to express my deepest sympathy, on behalf of my brother Stephen and myself, to the entire Celentano family for the loss of a wonderful man, Bill Celentano. My father Robert Petrillo was a good friend, and both of my parents funeral services were handled lovingly by him. He was a kind and decent human being and he will be greatly missed.
Diane and Stephen Petrillo.

Diane DaLuz-Nelson
   Posted Wed February 19, 2020
Condolences to the Celentano family. Keeping the family in prayer. Thanking God for your loved one’s life. He touched many hearts and lives.

Ramona Teel
   Posted Thu February 20, 2020
We would like to express our deepest sympathies for your loss. We are one of the many families that Mr. Celentano took care of during the loss of our loved ones. Our first contact with the funeral home was nearly 25 years ago when my dad died, Frederick Penn. Even today I can remember how accommodating and welcoming Mr. Celentano made us feel. May your family continue to receive peace and comfort knowing that he will be remembered for decades to come.

Francisco Ortiz
   Posted Tue February 25, 2020
Please allow me the opportunity to express my deepest sympathies to the Celentano family. Bill was an extraordinary gentleman and a wonderful colleague during my tenure with the New Haven Police Department and as Commissioner or the New Haven Fire Department. Bill was a distinguished Commissioner and serve as our moral compass for the Board. We are all fortunate for having had the privilege to have known Bill and to have considered him a friend.

Chief Francisco Ortiz, NHPD

Tom Rooks
   Posted Tue March 03, 2020
Mark (and the Celentano Family),
I'm so sorry to hear this news of your Dad's passing. It's been quite a while since our paths have crossed, but I'm sorry to have missed the gathering to celebrate his life and share memories. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Michael Necklas
   Posted Sat March 28, 2020
So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I always felt like he treated us like family and that he was part of our extended family. I'm glad that William and Mark are still running the home. We know Mom will be taken good care of when the time comes.

Renee Londner
   Posted Sat March 28, 2020
To the Celentano family.

Sincere condolences from the "Bungeely" family.
Your wonderful family was (is) an integral part of New Haven.

Renee (Bungeely) Londner

   Posted Sat March 28, 2020

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