Dominick John Celentano passed away on Tuesday, February 28 th at Richmond University Medical Center
after a 4 week illness. He was born in the Williamsburg-Greenpoint area of Brooklyn on July 13, 1933 to
Domenico and Caroline Celentano. He was predeceased by a brother Peter and his sisters Mary Villani,
Nettie Vaccaro and Edna Bartolotta. He graduated from Boy’s High School in 1952 and worked at
Peerless Camera in NYC for a year. He enlisted in the USAir Force in 1952. He was trained as a teletype
operator/line supervisor and was stationed in places like Wyoming, DC, and eventually in Thule,
Greenland, where his job was to anticipate the possibility of attacking planes flying overhead during the
When he finished his four years in the Air Force, he took a job with Shearson, Hammill where he met a
young college student who worked there during the summer months. In 1959, he and Dolores (Merola)
were married. He also attended Baruch College.
They made their first home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, for five years, where Dom did a lot of
volunteer work with St. Mark’s Parish, working especially with teens. In 1963, Dom joined the NYPD and
worked at the 60th Precinct in Coney Island. They moved into their new home in Ft. Wadsworth in 1964,
which he had completed by acting as a subcontractor.
A few years later, he was transferred to the 122nd Precinct in New Dorp, and he became a Detective
Third Grade/Training Officer, training some of their first classes of women police officers assigned to
Staten Island as a group. While in the NYPD, he was active in the Holy Name Society and the Columbia
Association. He loved his job and hoped to stay there for a longer time, but an on-the- job accident led
to his need to retire in 1983.
He also operated “The Cookie Jar” at Major’s Center in 1983 and 1984. When he was able, he began to
volunteer with the Red Cross. In 2001 he volunteered at the Arthur Kill recovery site following 9/11.
Dom was very active with St. Joseph Church in Rosebank. He served as president of the Holy Name
Society, was a trustee, and organized many fund-raisers and dinners to help with the expenses of St.
Joseph School. In those days, school parents also assisted at Bingo, which was a big funder for the
parish. For many years, he and another parishioner would take one-week vacations to run a major
funding event for the parish every June.
Dom enjoyed cooking for others and special occasions, especially for his children. Whenever his children
were planning celebrations, they would ask for a variety of dishes and he produced them. He enjoyed
shopping and would happily take friends to ’bargain’ sites, especially in New Jersey.
He loved to take car trips, and even went cross-country with four young children in tow. Later in life, he
became very fond of cruising, some with the children, and cruised anywhere from Hawaii to the
Caribbean, Europe, Scandinavia and even Russia. He was coming close to nearly 50 cruise experiences.
He also enjoyed trips to the casinos and spending time fishing at his condo in Jensen Beach, Fla.
He leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Dolores, and loving children Dore Ann Baratta(Jay), Dominick
John(Bonny Lee), Dianne O’Donnell(Tom) and Dana Dolan(Sean),and five treasured grandchildren,
Kaitlin, Kelly and Kerri O’Donnell and Christopher and Michael Dolan. He also leaves behind many
nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Although his loud voice was very useful during his patrolling days and with young groups, he rarely
followed through with his “Grumpy” nickname.
He will be missed by many.
Family and friends will be received at Martin Hughes Funeral Home 530 Narrows Road South, Staten
Island on Saturday March 4 th from 4pm to 8pm and Sunday March 5th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and
7:00pm to 9:00pm. Those wishing to attend the last farewell, please arrive at Martin Hughes Funeral
Home by 9:15am on Monday March 6th. Funeral to follow at St. Joseph Church 466 Tompkins Avenue
at 10:30am. Donations in Dominick’s memory can be made to Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc.
Police Department City of New York at www.nycdetectives.org
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