NEW BERN - Mrs. Eileen Connell Cella, known affectionately as "Gaga" by her family and friends, died at the age of 87 on Friday, August 30, 2013. Originally from Weehawken, New Jersey, Eileen graduated from New Jersey State Teachers College and served as a registered nurse before starting a family and moving to New Bern, NC. Throughout all fifty years as a New Bernian, Eileen was a faithful member of Saint Paul Catholic Church. She was also an active member of the New Bern Woman's Club, Trent Woods Garden Club, New Bern Civic Theater, New Bern Historical Society, Friends of the Library, North Carolina Symphony, and Craven Arts Council. Additionally, she was instrumental in establishing the Bank of the Arts in New Bern.
Often spotted cruising around town in her pistachio-colored Ford Thunderbird, Eileen was adored by all who knew her. A Renaissance woman at heart, Eileen collided with life, filling it with color, joy, laughter, and wonder. She loved to travel, write, paint, and entertain, but her greatest joy in life was being a mother and grandmother.
Eileen was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin J. Cella and daughter, Jane E. Cella. She is survived by her sons Eugene J. Cella and his wife Joanne, of Morrisville, NC; and Stephen F. Cella and his wife Bridget, of Trent Woods, NC; her brother, Matthew J. Connell, and his wife Janet, of Bergen, NJ; and her sister, Constance C. Grindley, of Carmel, NY. She also leaves behind her five grandchildren, Katheryn Cella Woodruff and husband Kyle; Halley E. Cella; Alexandra L. Cella; Kerianne M. Ryan; and Daniel P. Ryan and wife, Nickie.
Funeral Mass will be at 1:30pm Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at Saint Paul's Catholic Church with Father William J. Upah officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. The Cella family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00pm, Monday, at Pollock-Best Funeral Home. Those wishing to offer words of hope and comfort may visit www.pollockbest.com.
Memorials in Eileen's name may be made to Saint Paul Catholic Church, 3005 Country Club Road, New Bern, NC 28562 or the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (http://www.pcfweb.org).
Friends may sign the online guest book and share memories by visiting www.pollockbest.com.
Arrangements are by Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations.