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Tony Celli (Mr. Soccer): 1938-2021

Well-known in local soccer circles, fondly remembered
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Photo provided

Tony Celli, well-known in the local soccer community, has died.

Celli died on April 7. He was 82.

After moving to Canada as a teenager, Celli eventually moved to Sault Ste. Marie and became deeply involved in the soccer community locally

In addition to coaching, Celli served on the executive and played a key role in bringing soccer to the high school system locally.

SooToday received the following obituary from Arthur Funeral Home:

Peacefully, our beloved angel took flight on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, his Earthly mission complete. Our precious husband, father and Nonno spent his final days in the tender loving care of his family and the compassionate staff at the Algoma Residential Community Hospice. Together, along with the thoughts and prayers of those who could not be present, we accompanied him on this sacred journey.  

His beautiful life began on July 29, 1938, in Villa Santa Lucia degli Abruzzi, Italy, the cherished son of Anna (Spada) and Alberto. Loving brother of the late Vincenzina Marinacci (late Enzo), Giannina Giustini (late Benito) and the late Olga Dionisi (late Carmine).

He bravely immigrated to Canada as a teenager, where he met the love of his life, his devoted wife of 51 years, Connie (nee Belsito). Together, they epitomized enduring, faith-filled and pure love. He was the guiding light and hero in every aspect of life to his proud children, Anna-Lisa Christilaw (Adrian), Albert (Carla), Carrie Di Franco (Mario) and Anthony (Sarah). Nonno has left a lasting imprint on the lives of his adoring granddaughters: Mikayla, Madison, Brianna and Karli, Sienna and Isla and Sofia Di Franco. He will be fondly remembered by many extended family members and friends.

With boundless energy, passion, strength and humility, he unselfishly dedicated his life to his faith, family and community. His infectious smile and zest for life will be forever etched in our hearts. His spirit will continue to shine brightly through the many wonderful people whose lives he deeply touched and significant contributions to the community, most notably in education, athletics (soccer) and the Marconi Club. He would want us to acknowledge and sincerely thank everyone who has crossed his path for enriching his life and our family’s.   

Our angel, we were truly blessed and privileged to have you with us on this Earth as long as we did. No words can express the depth of our gratitude and admiration for the life you gave us and lessons you taught us by your example.  We find comfort knowing you will always be watching over us and cheering us on. Forza! You will continue to inspire us to give our best, find joy in the simple pleasures, live life with loving hearts and to “do good and forget it”.  Vi amiamo tanto tanto, per sempre, nostro Tesoro, no matter what! You’ve earned your wings! 

A private family service will be held, with Father Paul Conway officiating (all Covid-19 rules and regulations apply). Family and friends are invited to share in this celebration online starting at 10 am on Saturday, April 10, 2021, and anytime afterwards up to 90 days.  Visit www.funeraweb.tv and select Tony's name to view the service.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to ARCH.  Please visit the Arthur Funeral Home website obituaries to leave memories and condolences or share any photos you may have as a keepsake for the family.