• Celine Reilly

    Birth: July 17, 1927 | Died: October 25, 2023

    Funeral Service Details

    Tuesday, November 28, 2023
    4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Hilgenfeld Mortuary Chapel
    Anaheim, California

    The rosary will begin at 5:30 p.m.

    Funeral Mass
    Wednesday, November 29, 2023
    11:00 a.m.
    St. Norbert Catholic Church
    Orange, California

    Graveside Service
    Wednesday, November 29, 2023
    2:00 p.m.
    Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Glendale
    Glendale, California

    Celine Claire McIntyre Reilly passed away peacefully with family by her side in Fullerton, California on October 25, 2023. Celine was born July 17, 1927 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a few minutes before her twin, Helen. The family home, built by Celine’s grandfather, was along the banks of the Fox River.

    In 1929, Celine’s father moved his family to Wichita Falls, Texas, to work for the railroad; but the depression hit the railroad industry hard, and after a couple of years the family returned to Green Bay.

    In 1936, the family moved back to Wichita Falls, where Celine and her sisters attended the Academy of Mary Immaculate until high school graduation. During high school, Celine folded laundry for the local Catholic hospital. One of the hospital sisters encouraged Celine to go to nursing school and helped her apply. After graduating from the academy as valedictorian, Celine worked briefly as a clerk at Shepherd Field Army Base before attending the Army Nurse Corps training at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1948, she was a member of the last class to graduate from the school’s army nurse program.

    In the spring of 1949, Celine was a floor supervisor for Clinic Hospital in Wichita Falls when a reporter for the Wichita Daily Times came to the hospital to inquire about a woman who had apparently attempted to jump out of a hospital window. Celine refused to answer the reporter’s questions, but he was charmed by her and invited her on a date. That summer, Celine married the reporter, Joe Reilly, at Sacred Heart Church in Wichita Falls.

    Life was a whirlwind for the young couple. Between 1950 and 1955, they had four children. Joe’s frequent promotions took them from Wichita Falls to Tulsa, then to Oklahoma City, then back to Tulsa, followed by Houston and then Washington, D.C. In 1959, Joe agreed to end his reporting career and take on management of a family ranch near Santa Rosa, New Mexico, where two more children were born. Joe remained ranch manager until 1969, shortly after the death of his parents.

    The family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for less than a year before Joe accepted a position in Los Angeles with Santa Fe International Corporation, an oil exploration and drilling company. While the family lived in Glendale, California for a couple of years, Celine completed the ICU/CCU nursing course work that she’d begun in Albuquerque; she worked in critical care at Behren’s Hospital in Glendale.

    In 1972, the family moved to Villa Park, California, and became very active members of St. Norbert’s Catholic parish. During this period of her life, Celine worked briefly at Chapman Hospital in Orange, California and became an avid gardener, bridge player and Angels fan. She was also a die-hard supporter of her husband’s alma mater, Notre Dame, from the time of her first football game months after their wedding.

    Joe retired from Santa Fe International in 1982, and in 1995 he and Celine moved to Santa Maria, California. They both did volunteer work into their 80s and maintained their own home into their 90s. Celine’s last volunteer service was the same as her first job: folding laundry at the local hospital.

    If you asked Celine about herself, she would talk first about her husband, then about her children, and then about her parents and siblings--especially her twin sister. Celine was the epitome of devotion to her Catholic faith and her family. In their nearly 70 years of marriage, Celine and Joe hosted countless family gatherings in their various homes. They also enjoyed trips to Ireland, Italy, France, England, the Holy Land, Canada, Mexico and around the U.S., as well as to dozens of Notre Dame football games. Celine will be remembered for generations to come for the countless yarn, needlework and other creative projects that she completed and gave away throughout her life.

    Celine was preceded in death by her husband Joe, her son Hugh, her granddaughter Marie Elizabeth Reilly, and all of her siblings: brothers Leo Jr. and Louis, sisters Ethel Mae McIntyre McCoy and Helen McIntyre Casciotti. Celine is survived by her sons Patrick (Dana) of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Tom (Peggy) of Altadena, California; her daughters Mickey (Susan) of Taos, New Mexico, Theresa Holst (Alan) of Tustin, California, and Margaret O’Neil (Tim) of Shingle Springs, California; grandchildren Mark Reilly (Shivaun), Brian Reilly (Kella), Stephen Reilly (Savanah), Elizabeth Stephens (Reid), Sarah Hughes (Chet), Catherine Reilly and Sean O’Neil; great-grandchildren Devin Reilly, Pierson Stephens, Cora Stephens, Aidan Reilly, Ella Reilly, Abigail Reilly, Trey Stephens and Miles Reilly; and her siblings’ many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    Celine’s family is profoundly grateful for all of the cleaners, aides, sitters, nurses, doctors and other caregivers who tirelessly saw to both Celine’s and Joe’s needs in the final years of their lives.

    Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hilgenfeld Mortuary. Viewing and rosary will be at the mortuary, 120 E. Broadway in Anaheim, on November 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on November 29 at St. Norbert’s Church in Orange, followed by burial at 2 p.m. at Forest Lawn in Glendale. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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