Gregory J. Celia Jr., 85

September 20, 2020

Gregory Joseph Celia Jr., 85, of Lancaster, passed away at his home on September 20, 2020 with his loving family by his side. He was born in Lancaster to the late Mary L. (Mingo) and Gregory J. Celia Sr., who had immigrated from Gasperina Italy in 1922 at the age of 16.

In his youth Greg served as an altar boy at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Lancaster and remained a lifelong member. He graduated from Lancaster Catholic High School in 1953 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Franklin & Marshall College in 1957. He swam on the F&M championship swim team and was a member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Greg began his career at Lancaster County Farmers National Bank and was then drafted into the United States Army. Upon discharge, he resumed his banking career and after many promotions and mergers retired as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Hamilton Bank (now Wells Fargo) in 1986. He then started a second career for eight years as a Deputy Sheriff for Lancaster County, a job he greatly enjoyed.

After his banking career, he was appointed to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission by Governor Dick Thornburgh in 1986 where he held the Office of Secretary and served for 16 years. His other notable achievements included being the youngest person to serve as Director of the PA Bankers Association School of Banking at Bucknell University as well as past President for the Lancaster Jaycees, the Lancaster County Personnel Association, and the Administrative Management Society. Greg continued his service to the community as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association and the Italian American Cultural Society. He was also a member of the American Institute of Banking and the Lancaster County Bankers Association.

An avid golfer, Greg was one of the oldest members of Meadia Heights Golf Club, where you could find him regularly playing with his many great friends he enjoyed through the years. He competed in many golf tournaments and traveled annually to Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach for golf vacations. He was also a member of the PBOE 134 – Lancaster Elks where he had many good memories and liked keeping up with sports, especially golf, Eagles football, and boxing. Greg was interested in body building in his youth and continued to keep active at the Lancaster YMCA. He enjoyed deer hunting in Perry County, sailing on the Chesapeake, and spending time at the Jersey shore.

In 2013 he suffered a hemiplegic stroke during an open-heart procedure. Overnight everything changed. He was admired by many in his courageous fight to the end and never ever gave up hope.

Surviving is his wife of 23 years, Sarah “Sally” (Shaw) Celia, his daughters: Monique A. Stief (Michael), Lita M. “Lee” Pelko (Anthony), and Georgia J. Celia (Angel Torres). He is also survived by a granddaughter, Megan Graupensperger (Kurt), great-granddaughters Regan and McKinley Graupensperger, and step-grandchildren, David and Christopher Pelko.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Kristen Nebel of Peace of Mind Aging and Wellness Specialist for her dedicated care of Greg and his family.

A Memorial Service will be held Friday, October 2, 2020 at 11:00 am under the tent at Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543. Guests will be received prior to the service, starting at 10:00 am. Interment will follow at St. Joseph New Catholic Cemetery, where Greg will also receive military honors.

Watch the tribute video

Leave a condolence on this Memorial Page

Be sure to include your name

Please note that your condolence will not appear on this page until it is reviewed. Condolences usually appear within 24 hours of being submitted.

Condolences to the Family

October 01, 2020

Dearest Sarah, my deepest condolences for your loss. Greg sure did live a fulfilling life! I know you were so much a part of that fulfillment! Sending you & your family much love, light & strength during this difficult time. Remember all the have so many wonderful memories! Love you, Marilyn ♥️♥️

September 28, 2020

I was so sorry to read of Greg’s passing. My sympathies are with the entire Celia family. I was hired by Greg as a management trainee at National Central Bank in 1972, and I am grateful to him for the start of my long banking career. Again, he was with me as the head of the PBA Banking School at Bucknell when I graduated from that school. Greg was a mentor to many young bankers throughout his banking career. May he rest in peace.
Sue McMullen

September 28, 2020

Greg Celia: My times with Greg were all at Media Heights Golf Club. There was golf – golf with friends, golf with strangers and golf with Greg. Maybe a couple hundred rounds. Some as his partner – some just in a foursome with him. He and I shared commonality in several areas. It was a life enriching experience to be with him in the same cart. Golf was never the same to me after he was no longer able to play. I thank God for those times together which I will never forget. So God bless you, Sally, and your family in these times of grief.
Reg Pattey

September 28, 2020

Our condolences to Sally and the Celia family. We all have so many fond memories of Greg; Christmas holidays, summer family reunions and my personal cherished memory of being his flower-girl when I was 5 yrs old.
Greg was always willing to help & comfort our family and those in need. He was a true champion and will be missed. RIP.
Josette Celia Dannessa and family.

September 28, 2020

I knew Greg through my dad Pep. He was a genuinely good man, and fun.  Condolences to the family.  Bernita Wardrop Stadler 

September 28, 2020

My sincere condolences to the family!you do not know me but I would like to share a memory:My 1st job out of High School 1967 was at Lancaster County Farmers National Bank. I was hired as a proof machine operator & fired a year and a half later (because of my own still teenage brain doing) by Mr. Celia. In the exiting he told me how sorry he was to have to terminate my employment with them. It was bank policy and others in my department knew the reason and it would set a bad precedent to let me stay even though my supervisor told him what an excellent employee I had been and this was my 1st incedent. The day I was fired I was terrified to go home and tell my Dad (as I was the oldest of 4 girls and what kind of example was I setting). That same day my Dad told me I had a phone call from Conestoga National Bank. The next day I went there and was interviewed by the Vice President of the bank (at the time I didn’t know that fact)who informed me he had been contacted by Mr Celia and was informed of the circumstances of my being let go. Mr Celia said that I had been an excellent employee and could perform the position with little to no additional training and was well liked by the others in the department. During the interiew the Vice President said to me “I’m sure this will not be a problem in the future here, so we will not mention it again”. Will you accept our offer to work for us? Needless to say I accepted the offer and continued to work there 10 more years. The reason for my dismissal at LCFNB: I called in sick (the first time ever) the day after a long Holiday weekend and because the department was very busy and short handed the call to me was to ask if I thought I’d be in the next day.  My mother had answered the phone and informed them she knew nothing about me being sick.  I had been out of town and was not yet home and would let me know of the call when I got home. (YIKES!) I had never “bagged” school for fear of getting caught. My dad told me “you’ll never get another decent job again after being fired from a bank”.  I did send a note to Mr Celia after getting the new job for his kindness, compassion and being instramental in my aquiring a new position. I would have been too embaressed to seek another position at a bank.  I have retold this true happening many times over the past 50+ years to friends, co-workers and especially my children and grandchildren to try and help them understand there are consequences to be paid for wrong “judgement” calls and they may not be as fortunate as I was to have someone “in my corner” in that circumstance. 
Linda(Wettig) Mentzer

September 28, 2020

Tender mercies to Sally and all of Greg’s family.   I’ve known Greg since grade school and lived a few blocks apart on the same street growing up.  I caught up with Sally and Greg sometime during the year at my brother’s salon and got to renew old times with a long time school pal.  May you be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ for comfort and blessing as you grieve this great loss learning  to walk without him by your side, while keeping him in your heart.
Maureen McEvoy Farrell

September 28, 2020

My condolences to the Celia family. I was saddened to learn of Greg’s passing. It was my benefit to have worked with Greg at National Central Bank / Hamilton Bank.  I will remember his pleasant demeanor, ready smile, quick wit, good advice and sincere interest in the bank and its employees.
Larry Roskos

September 27, 2020

To the entire Celia family – my/our sincere condolences and prayers during this time. Greg will always be remembered.  R.I.P. ~Linda Boyd Draves & family 

September 27, 2020

So sorry to read about Greg in the newspaper today. What a great man !!! May he rest in peace. Warm wishes and love to the entire family.
Tom DeMascola

September 27, 2020

Sarah, my sincere sympathy to you and your family on the loss of Greg. May your memories comfort you. 

September 26, 2020

My condolences to Sally and her family.  Greg was a boyhood friend thru grade school and high school.  We shared many memories as both our fathers were in the Shoemaking/ repairing business.  He will be remembered for his pleasant manner, smile and willingness to help.   He will be missed. 
Gio. Jack Brignola

September 25, 2020

My memories of Greg gp back to the 50’s when we were in school at Catholic High.  He sat near me at lunch and often as not eat my lunch (because I didn’t like it)  Then there were the memories of our gang, the trips to Crystal Beach and later he made all our reunions.  Sally was a wonderful care giver and would go to lunch with the “ladies from our class as well as making sure Greg got to our monthly breakfasts.  My heart goes out to Sally and the family.  Greg you willbe missed.
Helen Foresman-Scheingraber

September 25, 2020

We have such happy memories of Greg. He always asked about our boys and that warmed our hearts. He was a treasured friend to Dad and will be missed tremendously. Words could never heal the pain that is felt at a time like this, but we can hope that memories of him in happier times will help to ease the pain of his loss. Thinking of you and wishing you peace. Love, Bill, Lonna(Derstler) , Ben and Brian Hoffman

September 25, 2020

I extend my heart-felt sympathy to Greg’s wife, Sally, his children, and loved ones. Our prayers are with you! I cherish the many fine memories of Greg and his parents.
Greg and Lisa Castano & family

Friday, October 02, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
Map and Directions

Get Maps and Directions >
Friday, October 02, 2020
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
Map and Directions

Get Maps and Directions >
Send Flowers Online

Offering Lancaster, PA funeral services for over 70 years.

Our five funeral homes in Lancaster County makes it easy and convenient to make arrangements and host services close to home.

  • Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home Downtown Lancaster
  • 414 East King St.
  • 717-393-9661
  • Charles F. (Chip) Snyder, Jr. Funeral Director / Supervisor
  • more info
  • Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home Lititz Pike
  • 3110 Lititz Pike
  • 717-560-5100
  • Charles F. (Chad) Snyder, III Funeral Director / Supervisor
  • more info
  • Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home Millersville
  • 441 North George St.
  • 717-872-5041
  • Mark D. Burkholder Funeral Director / Supervisor
  • more info
  • Spacht-Snyder Family Funeral Home Lititz, PA
  • 127 South Broad St.
  • 717-626-2317
  • Jacqueline Adamson Funeral Director / Supervisor
  • more info
  • Bachman-Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory Strasburg, PA
  • 7 South Decatur Street
  • 717-687-7644
  • Norman T. MableFuneral Director / Supervisor
  • more info