Obituary: William ‘Bill’ Francis Celello Sr., 90

obit-william-celello-srWilliam “Bill” Francis Celello Sr., 90,  died peacefully in his Northridge, California (CA) home on September 19, 2016, surrounded by his caring family.  In 1961, Bill was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which manifested, causing a variety of health issues throughout his 57 1/2 years of marriage to Barbara (Gillette) Celello, his wife and caregiver.

They met working at NBC-TV, Barbara in Burbank; Bill in Hollywood, prior to the Company moving entirely to Burbank, closing the Hollywood Studios.  Barbara was an executive secretary to Bill’s two bosses.

They were wed on May 2, 1959 at St. Jane Frances de Chantel Roman Catholic (RC) Church in North Hollywood, CA, and continue(d) to practice their faith at Our Lady of Peace; then, Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church in Northridge, CA.

Bill was born in Southington, Connecticut (CT) on August 24, 1926, son of Victoria Ferrucci Celello, also born in Southington, and Nicholas Celello, who was born in Amarosi, Italy.  Nicholas migrated to the United States with his parents when he was 14 years of age (circa).

Bill and Barbara would bear three children, William Francis Celello, Jr. (1960);  John Joseph Celello (1961); and Gina Marie (Celello) Hofstatter (1964).  All three children and their families reside in the San FernandoValley, within close distance of their parents.

Before moving to California in 1955 to continue work as a television engineer at NBC-TV in Hollywood, Bill served as a Signalman in the United States Navy.  In New Haven, CT, he was a TV engineer at the local NBC-TV Station, Channel 8.   He had attended the University of Connecticut, and post Navy, DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, IL.  From 1963 to 1977, he worked at ABC-TV in Los Angeles.

Though wheelchair confined at the time, he specialized in video and audio work. In 2006, Bill’s two lifelong friends, Walter J. Cook and Professor Joseph Mucci, both of Southington, CT, classmates of Bill at Lewis High School, flew out to surprise him for his 80th birthday celebration.  The “Triumvirate” all celebrated their 90th birthdays in 2016.

Bill’s brother, Joseph Celello, died in 2008.  His sister, Virginia Celello Wallace currently lives in Thousand Oaks, California.   He was often visited by his grandchildren, Sierra Hofstatter, Nick Hofstatter, Jona K.Sterrmann-Celello, David Abergel, Sarah Abergel, Kristin Abergel Wolf, great-grandchildren, Tensley and Tealan Wolf, plus, nieces, nephews and countless  friends, many of whom were classmates of his children, who now have their own families.

In spite of being a wheelchair-confined paraplegic for more than 50 years, bedridden for the last four years of his life, Bill’s positive outlook made him an heroic inspiration and role model for those who knew him.  He was, and always will be, loved.

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