Josephine Lee “Jo” Cellentani
Josephine Lee Cellentani, lovingly known as Jo, was born Sept. 17, 1927, in Adrian, Michigan and peacefully passed away on October 5, 2023, in Westerville, Ohio, at the age of 96. Her life was a testament to the values of family, community, and the joy of bringing people together.
Jo’s early years were shaped by her upbringing in a modest home alongside her parents, two brothers (Edward and Bernard), and three sisters (Katherine Breckel, Dorothy Jean Brown, and Mary Jane Griewahn). It was within this close-knit family that she developed her passion for cooking, baking, and the art of making ends meet. She graduated from Adrian High School in 1946, marking the beginning of her journey into adulthood.
After graduation, Jo embarked on a career at the Lenawee County Court House in the Highway Department. It was here that she encountered the love of her life, Eugene Cellentani, through a mutual friend. Their love story unfolded, leading to their marriage in 1952. Together, they welcomed four beautiful children into the world: Cathy Griffis (Brian), Nick (Diane), Gene (Inessa), and Grace Mabee (John).
In 1964, Gene and Jo made the move from Adrian, Michigan, to Shelby, Ohio, where they lovingly raised their four children. Despite the busy demands of motherhood, Jo remained actively engaged in her community. She was a dedicated member of the Altar Rosary, the K of C Auxiliary, and the hospital guild. Her warm and generous spirit shone brightly as she hosted large dinners, not only during the holidays but also to build friendships. Jo’s home was a welcoming hub for gatherings, and it was not unusual for 5 to 6 members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to join her for evenings filled with delicious food and card games.
As the years passed, Jo found her greatest joy in her ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She cherished the time spent with them and the bonds they shared. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of these generations who were blessed to know her love and kindness.
Services to celebrate Jo’s life will be held on Friday, November 10, 2023, at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 29 West Street Shelby, Ohio. Guests are welcome for a time of visitation from 10:30-11 am with Jo’s funeral mass beginning at 11 am. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Following the services, please join the family for a meal at The Shelby Community and Senior Center 154 North Gamble St., Shelby, Ohio, to share memories and stories of Jo’s life.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made to Capital City Hospice (Addus Hope Foundation) 2800 Corporate Dr.#170 Columbus, Ohio 43231, or a hospice of your choice, in honor of Jo, as a tribute to the comfort and care she received in her final days.
Local care for Jo and her family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby and online condolences may be left on Jo’s obituary on their website: www.PenwellTurner.com or Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral
Jo’s memory will forever be cherished by her beloved family and all those who had the privilege of knowing her. She leaves behind a legacy of love, generosity, and the enduring importance of family and community.