OBITUARY

Celestino Pitingolo

1 January, 19471 January, 2021

As we celebrate the life of Celestino Pitingolo (Celeste, Tino, Chel), beloved father, Nonno, partner, and friend to many, we honor a man of strong character, infectious charisma, undeniable intelligence, and superior strength.

Born to Andrea Pitingolo and Maria Vittoria Mongiardo Pitingolo, he was raised in Comune di Sant’ Andrea Apostolo dello Jonio, Provincia di Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy. At the age of 13, he attended a trade school in Rome where he found his forever love: automobile mechanics.

He worked for 5 years in Rome, Italy as a wood craftsman and welder before becoming an apprentice to a European Master Technician specializing in Ferrari and FIAT automobiles.

At the age of 19, Celestino was sent by his parents to America, traveling alone by boat to pursue the American dream. He spoke no English and had no friends, but came with fearless intensity to establish a life for his family and begin building a future of his own.

Celestino worked as a Technician for Marsi Motors in Nanuet, NY while learning to speak the English language, fine-tuning his craft, and laying the foundation to become the renowned expert in all things mechanically related - and indeed, he was the expert.

In 1968, at the age of 21, Celestino started his career as an Auto Technician at Mahwah Ford Sales and Service, where he proudly worked for 43 years before retirement. His work did not end there, nor did his drive to help everyone in the community. Whether he was repairing a car on the side of a road, fixing a generator in the middle of a storm, carrying groceries in the rain for a less capable stranger or getting you into your home after you locked yourself out, Celestino Pitingolo was your go-to-guy.

There was nothing he couldn’t fix, create, or build with his hands. When Celestino wasn’t under the hood of a car, you could find him doing one of the many things he loved, including cultivating his precious garden. A beautiful rainbow of his home grown tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, arugula, and herbs would fill the tables in which he sat. He honored all land and took immense pride in his own, planting trees, perfecting garden beds and hand-selecting the seeds of roses that would adorn his property.

Celestino’s love of land extended for miles into farms and fields where he would hunt deer, walk trails, cross rivers, climb trees, pick apples and above all, celebrate life by living it. Nature was a best friend, and a place he went to work, to play, and to find peace.

He was a skilled outdoorsman; he could hunt and fish and shoot like no other. He was a teacher, imparting all of his experiences and knowledge on friends, family and strangers.

He never arrived anywhere empty-handed. You could expect him at your door with a bottle of homemade wine, bags of garden grown vegetables, or a barrel of apples, hand-picked from the farm.

Celestino Pitingolo was a man of many talents, and his hands told the story of the labor and the love that he was so powerfully known for. He was the epitome of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.

He was one to rise early and make the day count. He was a lover of music, a dancer, a singer, a bocce player, a card shark, a soccer kicker, a disciplinarian, a harmonica player, a top spinner, a complete badass, and ultimately, Celestino Pitingolo was a lover of life.

He leaves a legacy to be carried out proudly by his loving daughter Lisa Marie Pitingolo Mastronardi.

Celestino will be treasured indefinitely by his beloved partner, Maria Isabel Peña, with whom he shared life and love for 19 years and her daughter, Angelika Gutierrez.

He is survived by his eldest daughter Victoria Walsh (grandsons Ryan and Jake), his middle daughter Lisa Mastronardi (son-in-law Michael, grandsons Luca and Nico), youngest daughter Laura Casella (son-in-law James, grandchildren Grace and Anthony), sister Mirella and brother-in-law Bruno Cosentino and their daughters, his nieces, Vittoria Valentin and Gabriella Cosentino.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 9 - 10:30 AM at Wanamaker & Carlough Funeral Home in Suffern, NY followed by a Catholic Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Suffern at 11:00AM

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation (Please Adhere to all NYS DOH Social Distancing Guidlelines)

    Saturday, 9 January , 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, 9 January , 2021

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Cremation Services to Follow

Memories

Celestino Pitingolo

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Sonia Reed

10 January 2021

I believe that when Celestine entered the gates of Heaven, God took one look at him and said "Here enters an excellent human being, a great friend to many, and caring and outgoing neighbor - which he was to me and my family. One of his greatest gift was his smile. I had known Celestino for over twenty-three years and during that time there was not one occasion, in which we ran into each other, that he did not have that wonderful and warming smile. He was a generous and kind man and is already missed.

I offer my condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Joe Matrone

8 January 2021

I met Celeste when he was working for mahwah Ford. We got to talking and soon discovered we had many similar interest in our lives. He was such a straight shooting guy I enjoyed
His visits and calls. I enjoyed
His wine! Our car conversations were great. He truly was someone out of the ordinary. I was shocked and saddened to learn of his sudden passing. Rest In Peace my friend. You will not be forgotten. Joe matrone and family

Frank Varano

8 January 2021

I had thought the tragedies of 2020 were behind us, but 2021 got off to a horrible start when my mother called me and broke the news.

As my brother already stated, we knew him our entire lives. He was born down the street from my mother's house and they immigrated to the U.S. about the same time. Everyone who knew him knows he could do anything. And whatever he did, he always did it for someone else. He was a rock for our family when our father passed away in 1993. He was my "advisor" when I bought my very first car about the same time - a 1989 Ford Escort. "Buy this one! You won't have any problems with it." He was right. I drove it from New York to California and back, and when I moved to Sicily with the Navy, I shipped it with me. It took me to Sant'Andrea dozens dozens of times, and all of the Andreolesi knew I got the car through him. I sold the car before I moved away from Sicily to my next assignment. The sailor who bought it from me was lucky. I knew Celestino. I was luckier.

I'm now in living Germany but my mother surprised me with a call from him a few weeks ago. As soon as she said "guessa hoo!" and put him on the phone, I knew it was u Cumpara Celestinu the second I heard his voice. The great ones don't need an introduction.

Luca Adduci

8 January 2021

My deepest condolences to the family. I have nothing but good memories from the time I met Celestino. Not only was he fantastic on working on cars, but he was a down to earth, hard working, charismatic and great person to be around. To his daughters, grand-kids and rest of family I pray you all comfort each other in this difficult time. RIP

Luca Adduci and family

Walter Nestico

8 January 2021

Uncle Celestino has always been in my mom's Elisa (His mayor sister) stories since childhood. His boundless passion for cars and his professionalism was a source of pride for everyone.
I only met him a few times during my travels in USA but I was able to appreciate his kindness and goodness of mind. A real Old Italian Man style and a Pitingolo of course!

Mariya Abrosikova

8 January 2021

First and foremost, I give my deepest condolences to Tino’s family and partner, Maria. I also give my condolences to all of his friends and loved ones.

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Tino for 5 and a 1/2 years. He was an amazing person. He always spoke highly of his daughters, grandchildren, parents, and partner. He was so full of life, strong, hard working, kind, reliable, and intelligent. He made the best homemade wine and zucchini bread with cranberries & walnuts I’ve ever tasted. His garden vegetables, especially peppers and cucumbers were the best I’ve ever had as well.

I can’t believe that no matter how busy he was with his very full life that he still made time to ask me how my mom and I are doing and lend a hand whenever he could.

I can’t believe he is gone. I have not come to terms with his passing. The last time I spoke to Tino was on December 26th, 2020. We talked about meeting some time after the hunting season, holidays, New Year, and his birthday. He was great to talk to and had great advice. He wanted all his family, friends, and loved ones to be and do well, including me. His character overall and the way he treated me was very special. It was a real privilege to know Tino these last 5 and a half years.

I will be there this Saturday to pay my respects. I must.

I hope Tino knew how amazing he was and that so many people respected, admired, and loved him.

Rest In Peace, Tino. Thank you so very much for everything. You were a grandfather I never had and real friend. I love and miss you very much. You will live in my heart and memory always.

Heather Bullard

7 January 2021

I am so very sorry to hear of Celestino's passing. He was a wonderful friend and a Huge talent who will be missed by all who knew him. My heartfelt condolences go to his family and all of friends who are many. RIP Celestino.

Mario Varano

7 January 2021

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family. I knew Celestino pretty much my whole life and this comes as a great shock.
Celest embodied generosity. He was quick to lend a hand yet never came empty handed. Always had a smile, and graciously graced us with his laughter and story telling.
The obituary was spot on. He would have been very proud to have read it and I am proud to have called him a friend. He will be sorely missed.

Raquel Ortiz

7 January 2021

Celestino was our dearest friend and neighbor. When we first moved to Suffern in 1997 he greeted us with open arms...as if we were family. We will never forget your smile, your laugh, your kindness and the LOVE you showed us!!! You will truly be missed. Rest In Peace my dear friend. May your journey into the next life lead you to a beautiful destination 💜
Sending Love and Prayers to his daughters, family members and Maria. Celestino will forever be in our hearts.

Alexa Palma

7 January 2021

What an amazing person and what a remarkable life. I feel so lucky that I got to know him.”
“What a good and generous man your father was.Celestino will always come to the store on holydays to give us a bottle of wine. He always talked about his amazing Italian peppers and gave my family one every year.They were the best peppers i ever had.My heart goes out to you and your family in this time of loss. Thank you for sending the invitation to for the funeral; although I won’t be able to attend I do want you to know that I am thinking and praying of you and grieving along with you and your family.My deepest condolonces to you and the entire family.

FROM THE FAMILY