Glenn R. Cella, 77, my beloved father, passed away peacefully after almost a year of health related complications on February 6, 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dad was my rock, my biggest fan, and best friend. I am deeply saddened and heartbroken that I will never have the opportunity again to hear his voice, experience his wry wit, learn from his depth of knowledge, and be in the company of the distinctive genius that complemented his persuasive charm.
However, he will continue to live on forever in my heart through all the memories and good times we shared together forging a special bond over the last 47 years that only a father and daughter can.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., December 19, 1936, he began his service in the Navy as part of the ROTC at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he received a B.A. in Theoretical Mathematics. He was fluent in French.
He was a former Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. His diplomatic assignments included posts in the Caribbean, North Africa, the Middle-East, and Europe and an appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels.Mr. Cella was Political Adviser to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and Director of the State Department's Office of Research and Analysis for Western Europe and Canada.After retiring from the Foreign Service, he received the title in the Foreign Service as Career Minister, the highest rank in the Foreign Service.
In the private sector, Mr. Cella was the Executive Director of the American Institute for Shippers' Association, an international freight transportation trade association.He remained affiliated with that organization as Director of Public Affairs.Concurrently,hewas a freelance writer and lecturer, specializing in foreign and defense affairs.
Because of his love for foreign affairs and his service abroad, we were blessed to have had the opportunity to live abroad as a family and immerse ourselves in the many cultures to learn about life in different parts of the world. He was a history buff and always made sure that we learn firsthand from our own experiences in addition to simply receiving formal education. As a young girl at the time, it was always fun taking road trips with dad, visiting the many castles and museums in Austria and Germany. One of the special memories that will stay with me forever is the times I went with my father to the Opera, Stehplatz. We would have to line up behind crowds, and as soon as the gate was dropped, we would have to run as fast as possible, so that we could be one of the first to get the best standing spot at the Opera. Even though I really didn't understand or appreciate the Opera then, what I enjoyed the most was trying to outrun everyone else there!
I will always think of Dad at Christmas because he made it so believable, magical and special for me. How lucky I am that I have two lovely boys of my own with whom I can now share the same excitement and spirit. When we lived in Pittsburgh, he would spend every Christmas holiday with my family. I always enjoyed spoiling him like a child - preparing his five-course breakfast, which always started with a big mug of hot chocolate and ended with one piece of chocolate.
In his later years, his personal passions included following several competitive sports, ranging from football to basketball. He became an avid and extremely knowledgeable collector of several rare antiques and oriental rugs, and loved to frequent flea markets in a search for even more.
So many memories, but those are the ones that will stay with me the most.
For many of my Dads friends who might not know about his last few months- My father, who lived most of his life in Washington D.C. was transferred to Pittsburgh, PA in the Fall of 2011 after suffering a stroke which left him unable to care for himself. Given how dear Washington D.C. was to him, I know that his last year must have been very difficult and lonely for him. Despite the fact that it became more and more difficult for him to recover from the damage caused by the stroke, he remained optimistic, spirited, and hopeful of recovery. One day, he hoped to go back to Washington DC.
Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. His ashes will be placed with his mother, Betty Cella and father, Jack Cella in Rhode Island.
A prayer for Dad.
You know we are frail, and that our days are brief. But our hearts are grateful that your love, O Lord, remains forever, and our security is in you (103:14-18).
With Deepest Love and Respect,