The world lost a dedicated mother and grandmother, and self-proclaimed “Star Trek nerd,” with the passing of Celeste M. Principe, 66. Her brave fight against brain cancer ended on July 3 in San Diego, California after more than six years. Celeste was born on February 19, 1952, in Quincy, Massachusetts, to Matthew and Laura (Welch) Principe. She grew up in nearby Squantum and graduated from North Quincy High School in 1970. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Massasoit Community College in 1974 and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University in 1991. As a mental health therapist, she helped community members through such organizations as Cava Crisis & Counseling Center, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), and the St. Lawrence County Mental Health Clinic.
Celeste was a loving mother and is survived by her daughter, Natalia Swalnick, and Natalia’s husband Josh Gross, both of San Diego, California, as well as daughter Sara Swalnick of Jamaica Plain, Mass. She was the beloved grandmother of Natalia’s children, Carter Marshall Swalnick (7) and Quinn Celeste Swalnick (5) of San Diego. She is preceded in death by her parents and one nephew, and leaves behind children and grandchildren, brother Matthew (Skippy) Principe, Jr., two nieces and three nephews. Celeste was incredibly well-read and spiritual, enjoyed mysteries and science fiction, and her legacy includes the world’s most delicious spaghetti and meatball recipe.
Services to celebrate Celeste’s life will be held at Hamel-Lydon Chapel & Cremation Service of Mass. Calling hours will be from 1-3pm on Friday, July 13. Guests are asked to please wear a hat in honor of Celeste’s “signature look”. Interment will be a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the American Brain Tumor Association in Celeste’s name.