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LOUIS J CELENTANO

Born: Thu., Apr. 14, 1921
Died: Mon., Sep. 28, 2020


Visitation

8:30 AM to 9:30 AM, Sat., Oct. 03, 2020
Location: Celentano Funeral Home


Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 AM Sat., Oct. 03, 2020
Location: St Michael's Church


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Louis Jerome Celentano, 99, of East Haven, passed away on Sept. 28, 2020. He was the widower of Philomena (Faye) Piscitelli Celentano. Louis was born in New Haven on April 14, 1921, son of the late Thomas A. and Lucy Donnarummo Celentano. He attended Hamilton Elementary School and Commercial High School.

Lou entered the US Army in 1942. He fought valiantly with his colleagues in the 825th Tank Destroyer Division at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944-45. Lou received the Purple Heart, the EAME Medal, the WWII Victory and the American Campaign Medals as well as the Good Conduct Medal. He left the service in Dec. 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. In 2010 Lou was able to return to Stavelot, Belgium where he was honored by the residents there for the efforts he and his compatriots made to liberate their town. He was one of the veterans interviewed for the “Greatest Tank Battles” documentary series that aired on national TV.

After his Army Service Lou worked as a dry cleaner route delivery man until 1970, during which time he made many friends in North Haven and the town became like his second home. He later was an auto parts sales manager until his retirement.

Lou engaged in many community activities and was a member of the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Association, and was a recipient of their Gold Ring award in 2012. He was proud to be a volunteer and supporter of Marrakech, an organization that provides homes and support for adults with disabilities. He was a supporter of ACORD. Lou was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Pine Grove Men’s Club, Orange Hills Golf Club, and the Amity Club, which honored him in 2019.

Besides his wife and parents Lou was predeceased by his son Thomas J. Celentano, sister Rose Arcucci, and brother Joseph A. Celentano. He is survived by several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews, and sister in law Mary Jane Celentano. He also leaves behind countless devoted friends, particularly Joseph Palfini. Joe provided Lou with invaluable assistance and companionship, especially in his final days. Lou was also grateful to his friend and housekeeper Krystyna Miedzinski for her aid and support. Lou was most appreciative of the staff of The Village at Mariner’s Point for the care he received while living in their community. He was also thankful for the compassionate treatment he always received from the staff at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in West Haven, and at YNHH.

During his 99 and a half years Lou always maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. He made friends everywhere he went, including the golf course, traveling around the USA, at business events, Army reunions, or the many banquets or social gatherings he enjoyed or at which he was honored. He was always in his element when he was in the presence of family and friends, regaling people with stories of the many experiences of his long life.

Friends may call at Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven on Saturday Oct. 3rd from 8:30 to 9:30 AM.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Michael Church, 29 Wooster Place, New Haven at 10 AM. Interment will follow, with full military honors, in St. Lawrence Cemetery. A celebration of Lou’s life will be held in April 2021, when he would have turned 100. Contributions in his memory can be made to Marrakech Inc., 6 Lunar Drive, Woodbridge CT 06525.

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Condolence Booklet

Toby M Gray
   Posted Wed September 30, 2020
I am not sure who will see this message, but hopefully it is the remaining family and some of the many friends of Lou. He was a dear friend of my family, and we are all better for having known him. I first met Lou in 2000 at the 825th Tank Destroyer Battalion reunion in Myrtle Beach. I was there with my family and my now late grandfather. Lou was such a warm, cheerful, friendly guy that he became a part of our family (as I'm sure many others would say the same). When the reunions ended, I did my best to stay in touch with him, writing letters full of pictures. Whenever he would come up to Somerset, MA to visit my grandfather and grandmother (and later just my grandmother), I would always try to travel down from NH to be there, too. A few years ago, Mary Frazer and Thom Hodson helped drive him around to visit some of his friends, and one of his stops was our home in NH for my 3 kids' birthday party. It made the day incredibly special and very memorable. I have viewed Lou as my fifth grandparent pretty much since I met him.

I have a file tree set up on my computer where I copy photos for my next letter to Lou, it's hard to think about him not being there for me to write to anymore. He had so many stories to tell, I wish I could have heard them all. My grandfather was notoriously unable to speak about his experiences during the war, so in addition to Lou being like another grandparent, he allowed me to know at least a little bit about what my grandfather experienced, and for that I am eternally thankful.

My deepest and sincerest condolences to Lou's family and all of his friends. I can only hope to have such a long and interesting life.

Steve Shwartz
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
I served with Lou for many years on the Marrakech board. He was such a wonderful, warm person. We will all miss him tremendously.

Steve Shwartz

Diana and Lloyd Leach
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
We are so sorry for your loss. We send our condolences in behave of my dad Martin Hauser who served with Lou.

Mary and Tom Hodson
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
Lou was the much loved emcee for the reunions of the 825th Tank Destroyer Battalion. After his wife died, he made the comment that he regretted not having been able to go back to the place where he fought during the Battle of the Bulge. We jumped at the chance to take him and it was a trip that we will never forget. When the Belgians and Luxembourgers learned that he was a WW II veteran, they treated him like royalty! The reception in Stavelot included wine toasts, gifts and presentations. From there, we went on to visit relatives and our Rotary Exchange student in Germany. Lou hit it off with the Germans, too!

A couple of years ago, Belgian Serge Lemaire came to visit Lou. Serge's family was in Stavelot during the battle. He brought an anti-tank gun shell casing that had been picked up by a 12 year old boy following the battle on December 18, 1944. Through Serge, he presented the shell casing to Lou. Serge wrote Lou's story for www.tankdestroyer.net. and interviewed Lou for the book he is writing about the battle of Stavelot.

Because of Lou, we made friends on this side of the ocean as well. Krystyna cared for Lou as a daughter would, and Joe, Jeff and Jim were like sons to him. They are all very special people. Thanks for the memories, Louis J. Celentano!

Jeannine Nadeau
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
Lou was a friend of my father's for years since the war. He became like a family after my father passed away he would call my mother and talk to her. He would come and visit my mother and I a few times and talk about when he and my father were in the service. He was a fun loving guy. This is also a sad time for us because my mother also passed away in June. So sorry for your lost.

Donna Apuzzo
   Posted Thu October 01, 2020
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Celentano family on the loss of their
Uncle Lou. He was a wonderful man who could tell a story and keep you interested like no one else. He was a gentleman and always had a smile on his face and nice words to say. May God bless and keep him in his care and may all of you remember memorable times spent with him. Love, Donna Jean

Colette and Serge Lemaire
   Posted Fri October 02, 2020
Our sincere condolences go out to our friend Lou and the entire family. He protected my grandparents, aunt and Dad during World War II. It was such a honor to have known him and been able to spend time with. His smile and words enriched the lives of all who were privileged to meet him and those memories will never die. We will remember him as he was and do our best to go on with life. Good Bye Lou !

Peggy and Ken Burgard
   Posted Fri October 02, 2020
Our thoughts go out to Lou and his family at this time from from his friends in North Dakota. He made trips to Rugby to visit, where he had worked on local farms as a "soldier harvestor" before he went overseas. He was reunited with many friends from his past and made many new friends. We spent many hours visiting and I wrote many stories about him in our local newspaper. He will never be forgotten! Peggy and Ken Burgard

Maria J Giordano
   Posted Fri October 02, 2020
My prayers are offered for the repose of his soul. May peace and fond memories fill the hearts and minds of the Celentano family

Lee Anderson
   Posted Sun October 04, 2020
I have many fond memories of (uncle Lou)at The Village at Mariners Point. He always had a smile and a kind word to say.Today is Sunday, I'm waiting to open the side door for him to get some fresh air! Now he he is Heaven with his family and friends that he missed so much.
God Speed Uncle Lou! You will truly be missed.
Sincerely, Lee Anderson

Keith Collom
   Posted Tue October 06, 2020
Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to all that are grieving this tremendous loss of our dear Lou. Our Dad was in the 825 and 3 of 5 kids were able to attend the reunions with our parents. As everyone has stated once you meet Lou he made you feel like you were his best friend. His smile and wonderful attitude brought joy to all who talked to him. One of our favorite stories is when Lou came to my parents 50th wedding anniversary in Estes Park Colorado. As we were showing him around, we explained how Elk were like stray dogs around the town and he was sure to see one. He did not believe us. Later that day a doe Elk and her calf came strolling up the street in front of my brothers house. He was in shock. As he told the story the next day he called it a Moose. Thank you to all that keep the memory of Lou and the 825th alive for the next generation.

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