3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home
101 South Finley Avenue
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States
Obituary of Gary Celeste
Please share a memory of Gary to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Gary Celeste was a loving, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, son and friend. At age 67, Gary passed away peacefully on Friday, February 4, 2022, after a courageous battle against COVID. Gary was born on November 13, 1954. He was raised in Irvington, New Jersey and graduated from Irvington High School. Gary attended Newark State College and then went to school to become a certified auto mechanic. He went on to start his own business, BNJ Automotive in Cranford, NJ and began raising his family in Colonia, NJ. Gary transitioned into his career as a realtor in the Basking Ridge, NJ area, and has been an accomplished professional realtor for over 23 years, winning nearly every professional award possible. He worked hard and loved his job that allowed him to meet new people, develop relationships, and help others. Gary had many passions outside of work. When he did something, he put his whole heart and mind into it, excelled, taught his craft to others, and made amazing friends along the way. Gary was a 5th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and was a Master instructor for over 40 years. He always said his love of martial arts was rooted in focus, discipline, and respect, which was evident in how he lived his life. Gary was an exceptional photographer and an active member of the NJ Center for Visual Arts, Sierra Club, and Audubon Society. His love of nature and wildlife, specifically birds, was evident in his compelling photography which he proudly shared with all on social media. Gary also had a passion for pottery, making beautifully intricate pieces, and building great friendships with other artists. As an avid outdoorsman, Gary spent much of his free timehiking, biking and enjoying the beautiful outdoors with his wife Jenifer. Gary and Jenifer loved going to beaches in Aruba, Cape May, Maine, and most of all, Sandy Hook. Gary’s family was of the utmost importance to him. He loved watching his kids and grandkids play, visiting them (and bringing donuts), and taking them out somewhere – for an adventure or just out to eat. He was the family antipasto specialist, faithfully bringing a selection of Italian delights to holiday gatherings. Gary instilled traditions in his family: the importance getting together (and getting outside), being there for your loved ones, and checking in to make sure your family was okay. Gary’s life was focused on listening to and appreciating others – rarely talking about himself – and if you met him on a hike looking at birds or strolling the beach, you’d get to tell your story, you’d learn something, and you’d get a laugh. Gary is survived by his wife, Jenifer Fabian; children, Brian Celeste (Jayne), Nicholas Celeste (Melanie), Jacqueline Stieff(Taylor), and Alicia Fabian; his five grandchildren, Andrew, Amelia, Leo, Benjamin, and Emily. Gary is survived by his father, David Celeste Sr.; brothers, David Celeste Jr., Mark Celeste (Deborah), Wayne Celeste (Kimberly). He is also survived by his beloved nieces and nephews, Michelle (Todd), Mark Elliott (Jane), Lori (Devon), Angela, Julia, and Elena. He is predeceased by his loving mother, Marie Celeste. Relatives and friends are invited to services Wednesday February 9, 2022, from 3:00-6:00 pm at Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, 101 S Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Raptor Trust Bird Rehabilitation and Education Center, Millington, NJ in Gary’s name. https://theraptortrust.org/tribute-gifts/