John Celii, 76, dies

West Chester, PA – John J. Celii Jr., 76, passed away on Dec. 20, 2018 surrounded by his wife and loving family.

Mr. Celii was born in West Chester, PA, in 1942, to his parents, John Celii, Sr. and Mary Sarmento Celii. He grew up in Downingtown, PA, where he met his high school sweetheart, and life partner of 56 years, Patricia.

He graduated from Bishop Shanahan Catholic High School in 1961 and went on to attend St. Joseph’s University, where he received a B.S. in Accounting and Finance.

Mr. Celii began his 40-year business career at Hewlett Packard. He held senior management positions at 3COM Corporation, Convergent Technologies, and Convergent Dealership Systems. He was instrumental in the startup Grand Junction Networks that was later acquired by Cisco Systems.

Mr. Celii had a deep passion for horse racing, which he turned into a successful Standardbred Racing Enterprise. His most successful horse, Badlands Hanover, won the Breeders Crown Final at Colonial Downs in 1998, setting a world record of 1:50 at age two. Badlands went on to be a successful sire on two continents.

Hr. Celii is survived by wife, Patricia C. Celii; daughters, Stephanie A. Celii, and Jacqui M. Friday, son-in law Mark P. Friday; granddaughter, Ashley M. Friday; and his sister Edith in Florida.

A private family memorial will be held in his honor in accordance with his wishes. Donations may be made to The Chester County Community Foundation, the Celii Foundation, or the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.

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