Joseph Peter Celentino

Joseph Peter Celentino, age 90, of Lansing, died peacefully surrounded by his family on September 13, 2011.  He was born March 21, 1921 in Lansing, Michigan to Samuel and Elizabetta Celentino. He overcame childhood polio and proudly served his country as a Sergeant of the Motor Pool during World War II. While stationed in England, he met his beautiful and loving wife, Joyce Yeowart, who originally hails from Liverpool, England.  After the war, the couple returned to Lansing, where they owned and operated West Town Bar and Celentino’s Restaurant and Lounge.

Joe and Joyce were married for 66 wonderful years. He is survived by his wife; his children, Patricia (Ronald T.) Farhat, Barbara Celentino, Joan (Michael) Moran, Susan (Bruce) Odell, Samuel (Amy) Celentino, Michael (Kavitha) Celentino; grandchildren, Christopher (Cherri) Farhat, Ronald (Tera) Farhat, Tracy (Todd) Kerrins, Lisa Gallinari, Nicholas and Morgan Odell, Anna and Samuel Celentino, Joseph, Michael, Matthew, and Christian Celentino; and eight great-grandchildren.  Also surviving is his sister Adeline Fortino. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Marie Spaniola and Virginia Bozo; and son-in-law, David Gallinari.

Joe was an adoring husband, loving father, and doting grandfather. He was a devout Catholic. Joe was an avid golfer who had four holes-in-one during his many happy years living in Florida. He enjoyed playing poker and could often be found playing cards with his many grandchildren. He loved being Italian, and especially enjoyed a good plate of spaghetti (with extra sauce of course). He was a sports fanatic, fisherman, and loved spending summers at Crystal Lake. He will be greatly missed but remembered every day by his family.  He will always be our ‘Chairman of the Board.’

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 16, 2011 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church with the Rev. Fr. Mark Inglot as celebrant. A luncheon will immediately follow. The family will receive friends on Thursday, September 15th from 3-5 p.m. (Rosary at 4:30 p.m.) and 7-8:30 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St., Lansing, and on Friday one hour prior to the service at the church. Joe will be laid to rest privately with family at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church or Hospice Advantage. Condolences can be sent to the family at

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17 Messages to “Joseph Peter Celentino

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Jeanne & Fred Otto
September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Dear Joyce and Family – Today was a very sad day for us on hearing
of Joe’s passing. God gave us 15 wonderful years to be together
in Florida. He was a great guy and had many friends who enjoyed
both Joe and Joyce. We feel truly blessed to have been so close and our friendship will long be remembered. Fred and I will hold you both in our hearts and our prayers will be with you and your wonderful family.
Love, Jeanne and Fred Otto

Tom and Beth O'Connell
September 14, 2011 at 7:41 am

Dear Sam and Amy and family-We were sorry to read about your Dad’s passing in the paper this morning. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you today and in the difficult days ahead. God bless, Tom and Beth

John & Chris Olis
September 14, 2011 at 9:40 am

Dear Michael and Family, we wish to express our deepest sympathy to you, your Mother and your family on the passing of your Dad. We know how much you loved him. He is truly at peace. We will keep Joe and your family in our prayers. God Bless, John and Chris

Martha Hathaway on behalf of Mike Gerringer
September 14, 2011 at 10:29 am

Dear Tracy and Family – On behalf of Mike and the entire CANW and Channel Technology teams, please accept our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your grandfather. Based on the brief history above, many wonderful stories will be shared for generations to come.
As an expression of our support, a donation has been made to Hospice Advantage.
May the peace of the Lord be with you.
Martha Hathaway

Gretchen & John Saunders
September 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Dear Tracy and Family,

We are so very sorry to hear of your dear grandfather’s passing. We know this is a difficult time for all of you so please let us know if you need anything at all. We will be thinking of you each day and will keep you in our prayers. We only hope that knowing he’s at peace will provide some comfort.

In Friendship,
Gretchen & John

Anu and Ashok Nagarajan
September 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

Dear Kavi and Mike,
We are so deeply saddened to hear of Joe’s passing. Indeed, he was a great person and we enjoyed meeting him at the wedding. We remember that you recently celebrated his 90th birthday. All very special memories that make the loss even harder to bear now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joyce, both of you and the entire family.
Anu, Ashok, Amrutha, Arvind

Suzanne Moore
September 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

On behalf of the Harold A. Moore Family I wish to send you our deepest sympathies. Joe was a good man and friend to my father. I have fond memories of Joe at the restaurant. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May your memories of Joe bring you comfort and may knowing that he is with our heavenly father bring you comfort and peace.

Laura&Nick Colangelo
September 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Our deepest sympathy.He had along and happy life.

Arlene Boudreault
September 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I am sending my deepest condolences to Joyce and family.

Vas and Lalitha Srinivasan
September 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Dear Mike, Kavi and family
We would like to express our deepest sympathies. How blessed you were to have him at your wedding … Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

margo solem behler
September 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Sam, I have great memories of ” Big Joe” in the neighborhood. I am so sad to learn one of the great ones has passed. I know this must be very painful for your Mom and sisters and you and Mikey. He was one of the great ones and I am spending time thinking of some of the fun memories of your Dad. Bless you Celentino’s….

September 15, 2011 at 7:33 am


Naomi Kennedy
September 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Joe was a very special man. We enjoyed our brief time with him and with Joyce, here in Florida

Tom Jury
September 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm

The Celentino name has a history in the Lansing area…a fine family and a restaurant that Mr. C clearly had great pride in…for good reason too. Job well done! Rest in Peace.

Lesly and Tom Jordan
September 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

Joan, Mike and Family,
Our hearfelt condolences on your loss. Hopefully in time the grief will be replaced by all the fond memories. So sorry we could not pay our respects in person.

Debbie Baer Jarous
September 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

Dear Celentino family,
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you during this time of sadness. Though it’s been many years, remembering Joe greeting guests at the restaurant with a big smile is a fond memory. He and my dad (George) shared many good times and I trust they are again. God’s Blessings to you all.

Duey Russell
September 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

God’s Blessings to the entire family. We miss him at church and will have a vacancy in our hearts for our dear friend.


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