Obituaries: Clara Cellino

Clara (Battista) Cellino, our precious “Nonnie” and beloved wife of Peter Cellino passed away on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 surrounded by her family.

She was born in Plainville on April 24, 1930 and was the middle of three children born to the late Joseph and Anna (Spinelli) Battista.  Clara was a life-long resident of Plainville and graduated from Plainville High School in 1948.  On February 1, 1951 she married Peter Cellino, also a Plainville native, and the love of her life.  They remained in Plainville, raising their three children.  Clara was actively involved in all of her children’s and grandchildren’s social, educational, and sports activities and accomplishments in addition to being involved in local community organizations  (Junior Women’s Club, Women’s Club, Boy Scouts of America, etc. – where she volunteered hours of her time).

Clara began her working career as an administrative assistant at SNET and remained their for three years before leaving to raise her family.  For a short period in her middle years she worked as a jewelry associate at Michael’s Jewelers (she always loved diamonds and sparkles).  Throughout her adult years she was Vice President of Cellino Inc.  Her attention to detail as well as her accounting/administrative skills were second to none, which she continued to handle up until three days prior to her passing.

True to her Italian heritage, she had a zest for life, a heart of gold and loved to share her culinary skills with family and friends.  She will always be remembered for making the best meatballs, linguini and white clam sauce, chicken soup, onion pie and especially fried dough.  Oh, how we will miss those!!!  Clara enjoyed spending time with family, summers at the beach in Clinton, trips to NYC to see broadway shows and window shop through the jewelry district, watching her grandchildren’s sporting events and attending their recitals and performances.  She enjoyed vacationing with Peter and friends to the Caribbean Islands, Atlantic City and Las Vegas, among other interesting destinations. She especially loved her occasional visits to the casino and was affectionately known as the “Queen of Diamonds” among her gambling friends.

Clara faced many medical challenges over the past couple of years and did so with tremendous strength and courage. She was the matriarch of the family who taught us the value of love and family.  Nonnie, you are our special angel in heaven watching over us from above,  You will be missed immensely, leaving a legacy of love and countless memories that will forever be cherished. Until we meet again, you will forever be in our hearts.  We love you and miss you already.

In addition to her husband Peter, of 67 years, she leaves her children:  John and his wife Kathy of Niantic; Susan Cellino and her husband Gregory Jacques; and Donna Cavallaro and her husband Christopher, all of Plainville.  She also leaves the pride and joy of her life, her grandchildren: Peter Cellino; Kacie Shiel and her husband, Christopher; Jesse Cavallaro and his loving girlfriend Mary Maynard; Nicholas Cavallaro and his fiancé Rachel Kulas; Christina Cavallaro; and Mei-Li Cellino-Jacques;

as well as her great-granddaughter, Penelope “Poppy” Shiel along with her little brother who is on the way.  She was predeceased by her older brother, Frank Battista, and leaves her younger brother, Joseph Battista and his wife Debbie of Bristol, several nieces and nephews and many dear friends, especially Carol Berger – who has been like a sister to her for fifty plus years.

Sincere appreciation is extended to the doctors, nurses, aides and social workers at The Jefferson House who cared for mom during her final days of life.  The family was overwhelmed with the level of care they provided as well as the compassion and sensitivity they showed.  And last but not least, thank you to the staff and residents at Brookdale/Chatfield Senior living for helping to make her final year of life filled with some joy and happiness.

Honoring Nonnie’s wishes, her family will celebrate her life privately.  In lieu of flowers, Nonnie may be remembered with contributions to her favorite charity the Plainville Family Resource Network (a local non-profit organization supporting the educational development of children ages birth to five), 69 Linden St., Plainville, CT 06062.

Plainville Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  For online expressions of sympathy, please visit her tribute page at