In New Haven, March 28, 2009. Donald W. Celotto of Woodbridge. Husband for 43 years of the late Elizabeth Schmitz Celotto. Father of Donald W. Celotto, Jr. of Woodbridge and Elizabeth Celotto and her husband, Robert Glick, of Teaneck, N.J. Brother of Alberta Harrington of Jupiter, FL and Amelia Mongillo of Narragansett, RI. Grandfather of Nicholas and Alexander Glick and Rachel Celotto. Brother of the late Robert Celotto and Frances Keating. He was the beloved friend of Mary Lacey, also of Woodbridge, and her entire family. Born in New Haven on October 19, 1923, he was the son of the late Dominic and Elizabeth Leopold Celotto. He attended Hillhouse High School and Phillips Academy, graduating from Yale University in 1948. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry during WWII in Belgium where he fought and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and, thereafter, in Germany. He also served in the post-war occupation of Germany, as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was decorated with the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars. Donald was a graduate of the University of Connecticut Law School. In March of 1974, he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and thereafter, named a Judge of the Superior Court. At the time of his death, he was a Judge Trial Referee of the Superior Court. He was a Past President of the New Haven County Bar Association and The Connecticut Judge's Association. Judge Celotto served as a Director/ Committee member for many organizations: St Aedan's Parish Council, Day Prospect-Hill School, a Fellow of Jonathan Edwards College, The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Connecticut Republican State Central Committee, and New Haven Republican Town Committee. To all who knew him, he was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather; a lawyer and a judge dedicated to the very best traditions of advocacy, jurisprudence and justice; a loyal alumnus of Yale University; a passionate student and player of the game of baseball; and, a life-long fan of the New York Yankees. Funeral from BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE. HAMDEN on Thursday, April 2, 2009, at 9:00AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00AM in the Church of the Assumption, Woodbridge. Friends may also visit with his family at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4 - 8 P.M. Interment will take place in Eastside Burial Grounds, Woodbridge. Donations in his memory may be made to the charity of one's choice.

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  1. Dan, Cathleen, Tim, Chris,and Mary Burke. Rick, Paul, Mike,and Jack Celotto. Leslie and Elizabeth Celotto.Rosemary, Frank, Elizabeth, and Marilyn Massari, all of us grandchildren of Ralph Celotto, Judge Dominck’s older brother,wish to extend condolences to our Celotto cousins. We are the children of Ralph, Bucky, Florence, and Tina Celotto.

  2. Dear Don and family Please accept my sincere condolences to you on the passing of your father. He was a good man and a fair judge. He had the respect of his peers. Gerard Adelman

  3. Dear Liz and Don, I was awfully sorry to hear about your dad. We’ve been great friends since the fall of 1941 and I’ve never known anyone more loyal, honorable and high class. You all lost a wonderful dad, brother, grandfather, and certainly a great loss to the legal community. My prayers and thoughts are with you all and I’m very sorry that I can’t be with you. Sincerely, Art Moher

  4. Dear Liz, I am thinking of you, your Dad’s devoted daughter. My sympathy to you, your brother and your entire family on the loss of your Dad. I read each of the other messages and I although I didn’t know him, he sounds like a great man with lots of spirit. May your Dad rest in peace.

  5. Don and Family, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. He was a great judge and a wonderful person who truly looked out for all of us who were lawyers both in his courtroom as well as outside of the courtroom. He will be truly missed. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless. Patti & Joe Iassogna Guilford, CT

  6. Donald — My condolences on your father’s passing. As you may know, I always had a wonderful relationship with your Dad, and found him to be a fine lawyer, and a wonderful judge. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  7. Donald – When I received a phone call yesterday about your dad, my heart stopped for a long moment. My condolences to both you and Rachel. May the memories of your loving father carry you through these most difficult times. I have heard many a great story about your dad on the bench, but personally, I knew him as your wonderful father. His generosity, his ‘heart of gold’, and that wonderful smile of his, are utmost in my thoughts today. Hugs to Rachel from the three of us.

  8. Donald & Family: Your Dad was one of the formative influences in my legal career. I had one of my first jury trials in front of him, and I learned more from that trial, about both what to do and not to do in a courtroom, than I have probably learned in any trial since. One thing that struck me over the years was how proud he was of you, Donald. When he was presiding on the civil side, long before I knew you, he would quote your latest observations — whether they be of political figures staging hunger strikes (My son says wave a Pepe’s pizza under their nose, and see how long they last) or of the best coffee to buy and brew. He loved you fiercely, Donald, but of course you know that. I am chagrined that I didn’t know he was sick, and that I didn’t get to see him at all over the last year. Like Art Riccio said, you could always talk to your dad about the Yankees, one of our favorite subjects, and he always had time to talk to you, to comment on whatever was going on, and, most importantly, to share his advice. Your Dad, unlike many Judges and elder attorneys, was always approachable. And though you could always get his goat, and sometimes make him mad, he always forgave you for getting it. Underneath his sometimes impatient public persona, he was a forgiving, compassionate man, generous of spirit, and insightful in the ways that really mattered–the ways that affected people’s lives. I didn’t realize how much I would miss him until I saw the bulletin from the New Haven County Bar. In a way, for me it was like the professional equivalent of hearing of the passing of the Mick. I suppose your Dad is up there now commiserating with him over the modern ballplayer. Like the Mick, somehow I thought your dad would always be here, and I suppose, in a way, the best way, maybe, he always will be, in our hearts, and in our thoughts, at least. You are some lucky man, Donald, to have had the Dad you did. God Bless him, and bless you and your family in these difficult days following his passing.

  9. Donald and Family, my sincerest condolences in the loss of your father. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting the Judge when he was not behind the bench and his love for his family was unmistakable. Many attorneys love the law, Judge Celotto appeared to love not only the law, but every aspect of being a jurist and it showed in the way that he treated everyone with respect and compassion who came before him. I have heard Don say many times My father loved lawyers and he is right. Judge Celottos wit at short calendar will be missed and the loss that the bar has suffered with his passing will never be filled. Steven P. Ciardiello, Esq.

  10. Donald and family: Our deepest condolences and sympathy over the loss of your dad. He was an amazing person and a truly great judge. Mike Perzin and Nola Beldegreen

  11. Donald and Liz, Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. In the days ahead, may you find comfort remembering the many happy memories of your father.

  12. Donald Thinking of you during this time. Our prayers to you and yours. Hunt Family Ray, Diana, Andrea

  13. Donald Your Dad was always good to me. He was always square with me on the bench and always greeted me with a smile out of court. He was a great guy and we will all miss him . My deepest condolences to you and your family. Al Zullo

  14. Donald, I have so many memories about your dad. He was an iconic sort of figure and one of the immortals of the bench, especially in the eyes of a young lawyer. He was a master at getting down to the bedrock of an argument or unveiling a lawyer’s thinly disguised hidden agenda. It really bothered him to see the taking of unfair advantage in the courtroom or in his chambers and he took time to remedy these situations. I’ll never forget being in settlement negotiations in his chambers when I had only been at the bar for a few years. I was up against some seasoned opposition who didn’t want to offer fair value on a case and thought they could get away with it. Your father shut this situation down immediately in a way that I’ll always appreciate and never forget. Your dad also had a great sense of humor. I love the story about how, when Dave appeared before him once in the foreclosure court, he said, kind of ominously, .Attorney Shaw, please approach the bench!. The tone suggested that a very grave matter, and one requiring deep discretion, was about to be discussed. This bench conference was actually about the mechanics of hooking up the TV properly so he could watch the Yankees. Dave and I laughed so hard about that. Donald, your father was so proud of you and I know and understand how much you will miss him. He epitomized the greatest generation with his service to our country and his devotion to his family and to justice. The courthouse will never be the same without him. I’m sure he’s been assigned a position in the .big sky. that involves making sure the underdog gets a fair break. That part of him will always be there for us.

  15. Donald, may the pride your dad had in your life be an eternal memory of your love for him and he for you.

  16. Donald, Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

  17. Donald, Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

  18. Donald, You already know how much you and your father mean to me. He was a member of that greatest generation. Both professionally and personally, I have always had the greatest respect and affection for your Dad. When my Dad was alive he always asked how he was doing. When I would see him in the court we would often analyze our NY Yankees. He taught me so much. I learned something from him everytime I appeared before him, whether he was on the bench or in chambers. His roots ran deep. His compassion for people was endless. His instincts for equity, justice and fairness were immeasurable. He was a very special man and mentor, who taught many of us young lawyers, who grew up under his wing, the right way to practice law. I continue to recall specific events when I was in court or chambers before him and how it helped me to develop as a lawyer. When my Dad passed away, I still remember Judge Licari coming up to me, expressing his condolences and then telling me that things will never be the same for me. And now, with the passing of your Dad, my going to the New Haven Superior Court and knowing that your Dad will not be gracing its chambers and courtrooms, will also mean that things will not ever be the same for me. Please know that my prayers are with your Dad and with you and your family. Art

  19. He was a good man always treated me fair can ask no more of a man. Call me if you need me. I’ll be away will call when I get back,hang in there.Peace brother.

  20. I am saddened to hear the news about Judge Celotto’s passing. He was an excellent judge and a very nice man. He had that rare combination of legal insight, the ability to spot key issues in cases, great people skills, and had a real practical feel for how to resolve cases fairly. I’ll always remember his motto: .everyone has to eat and everyone has to look good.. He always treated lawyers with the utmost respect and consideration, always mindful of their best interests as well as the interests of their clients. It was always a pleasure to see Judge Celotto at the bar functions on a regular basis. I am the President-Elect of the New Haven County Bar Association, and it will be an honor to follow in the footsteps of such legal giants as the late judge. He will be greatly missed, but I hope his family can take solace in knowing what a long, full life he led, and what a positive impact he had on so many lawyers and clients.

  21. I am truly saddened by the passing of judge Celotto. My condolences go out to the members of the Celotto family. I appeared before judge Celotto many times, and always found him to be fair, courteous, a gentleman, and a lover of the law, as well as a distinguished jurist. I hope all the family find comfort in all their loving memories of him. David M. Spinner, Esq.

  22. I had the privilege of trying my first jury case before Judge Celotto many years ago. From the first, I always lived by his adage .everybody eats, and everybody looks good.. His proud legacy will continue with Don, Jr. and the other members of his family. As he always said, .take it slow.. You remain in our prayers and thoughts.

  23. I had the privilege of working for Judge Celotto from the time I came to New Haven court and was privileged to take the oath as an attorney from him. I will always be grateful for his steadfast support, his dedication and good humor. Sincere condolences to Don and the Celotto family. Bill & Gail Lipman

  24. JUDGE CELOTTO WAS A GREAT FATHER, GREAT JUDGE AND A GREAT WARRIOR. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THIS COUNTRY.GOD BLESS.

  25. Nearly 30 years ago I had the privilege of being a new law clerk in Judge Celotto’s courtroom. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a sharp wit, which was often aimed at the attorneys who appeared before him. He always took extra time with pro se parties. He was a credit to the bench. My sincere condolences to his family.

  26. To the entire Celotto family and to Mary Lacey, I befriended Don through a mutual friend, Arthur K. Moher. I have fond memories of Don, Mary, Arthur, and I in attendance at the baseball reunion at the Yale/Harvard game of 2005, where the two gentlemen kept us amused by their baseball stories both at Andover and Yale. I shall remember Don as a genuinely kind gentleman, well respected for his core values and principles in the legal community and always with a warm, welcoming smile and twinkle in his eye. My sincerest condolences to the family, Mary, and all that had the pleasure of knowing him. Sincerely, Carole A. Mongillo

  27. Donald, I just learned today of your Dad’s passing and was very sorry to have missed the wake and funeral. I had tremendous respect and affection for Judge Celotto. He was both a mentor and father figure to me. I appeared in his Courtroom on a weekly basis for over 14 years. He possessed a great sense of fairness and ,at all times, was in charge from the bench. I enjoyed visiting him in chambers and chatting with him. You were truly blessed to have him as your Dad. My most sincere condolences to you and your family. May Judge Celotto enjoy eternal peace. He will never be forgotten.

  28. Dear Liz, I am thinking of you, your Dad’s devoted daughter. My sympathy to you, your brother and your entire family on the loss of your Dad. I read each of the other messages and I although I didn’t know him, he sounds like a great man with lots of spirit. May your Dad rest in peace.

  29. Donald — My condolences on your father’s passing. As you may know, I always had a wonderful relationship with your Dad, and found him to be a fine lawyer, and a wonderful judge. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  30. Donald Your Dad was always good to me. He was always square with me on the bench and always greeted me with a smile out of court. He was a great guy and we will all miss him . My deepest condolences to you and your family. Al Zullo

  31. Donald, I have so many memories about your dad. He was an iconic sort of figure and one of the immortals of the bench, especially in the eyes of a young lawyer. He was a master at getting down to the bedrock of an argument or unveiling a lawyer’s thinly disguised hidden agenda. It really bothered him to see the taking of unfair advantage in the courtroom or in his chambers and he took time to remedy these situations. I’ll never forget being in settlement negotiations in his chambers when I had only been at the bar for a few years. I was up against some seasoned opposition who didn’t want to offer fair value on a case and thought they could get away with it. Your father shut this situation down immediately in a way that I’ll always appreciate and never forget. Your dad also had a great sense of humor. I love the story about how, when Dave appeared before him once in the foreclosure court, he said, kind of ominously, .Attorney Shaw, please approach the bench!. The tone suggested that a very grave matter, and one requiring deep discretion, was about to be discussed. This bench conference was actually about the mechanics of hooking up the TV properly so he could watch the Yankees. Dave and I laughed so hard about that. Donald, your father was so proud of you and I know and understand how much you will miss him. He epitomized the greatest generation with his service to our country and his devotion to his family and to justice. The courthouse will never be the same without him. I’m sure he’s been assigned a position in the .big sky. that involves making sure the underdog gets a fair break. That part of him will always be there for us.

  32. Donald, Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

  33. Donald, Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your father. Our prayers go out to you and your family.

  34. Donald, You already know how much you and your father mean to me. He was a member of that greatest generation. Both professionally and personally, I have always had the greatest respect and affection for your Dad. When my Dad was alive he always asked how he was doing. When I would see him in the court we would often analyze our NY Yankees. He taught me so much. I learned something from him everytime I appeared before him, whether he was on the bench or in chambers. His roots ran deep. His compassion for people was endless. His instincts for equity, justice and fairness were immeasurable. He was a very special man and mentor, who taught many of us young lawyers, who grew up under his wing, the right way to practice law. I continue to recall specific events when I was in court or chambers before him and how it helped me to develop as a lawyer. When my Dad passed away, I still remember Judge Licari coming up to me, expressing his condolences and then telling me that things will never be the same for me. And now, with the passing of your Dad, my going to the New Haven Superior Court and knowing that your Dad will not be gracing its chambers and courtrooms, will also mean that things will not ever be the same for me. Please know that my prayers are with your Dad and with you and your family. Art

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