Obituary of Celia G. Aranda
Celia Gonzalez Aranda, 88, of Riverdale, New Jersey, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at the age of 88. She is survived by her children, Michelle, Mike (wife Althea), and Marlon (wife Andrea) and her grandchildren, Melissa, Michael, Patrick, Maia, Eleanor, and Lorenzo. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Marianette.
Celia was born in Gerona, Tarlac, Philippines on December 29, 1934 to Dorotea (Alejandrino) and Mariano Gonzalez and was the youngest of eight children. Her family owned and operated the community funeral home and pharmacy where Celia and her siblings learned the importance of faith, hard work, education and community service.
After graduating with honors from St. Paul University Preparatory School in Manila, she went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of the Philippines. In 1955, she began her science research career examining nutrition at local public food markets.
In 1957, she traveled to New York City and moved in with her sister and brother-in-law. She began working in the field of Experimental Parasitology for the Department of Preventive Medicine at New York University Medical Center. During her nine years at NYU Medical Center, she regularly contributed, co-authored and published papers in this field.
Around this time, she was part of a vibrant Filipino community centered in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Here she met Archangel (“Arcan”) Aranda, an MBA student at NYU, and in 1959 they married and started their family.
In 1968, the young family relocated to New Jersey when Celia started a position as a Research Scientist at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (nka Novartis), in East Hanover, New Jersey. For nearly three decades, she was an active part of the Sandoz research community focusing on diabetes treatments.
The family eventually settled in the Kinnelon/Riverdale, New Jersey area, where she would live for more than five decades. Celia took great solace in being of service to God and His people. As an active member at both Our Lady of Magnificat Church (Kinnelon) and St. Anthony of Padua Church (Butler), she joined many ministries and made many longtime friends. She served as a Eucharistic Minister during weekly masses and gave Holy Communion to parishioners admitted to Chilton Hospital (Pompton Plains). Celia was also an active lay Carmelite, better known as the Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Throughout her life, she shared her spirit of generosity. She was a kind and thoughtful hostess, who always welcomed visiting family and friends. As "Lola" (Grandma) Celia, she lovingly shared her Filipino heritage with her grandchildren, and their friends, through her stories, signature lumpia/egg rolls, chicken adobo, and pancit.
Above all, we will remember Celia as a loving and generous friend, mother, and grandmother. She loved others sincerely. She was kindly devoted to her faith, family and friends - celebrating good times and persevering through the bad. She gave to those in need, never asking for anything in return, and always opened her home in hospitality.
— The family is thankful for the many messages and notes of condolences from loved ones - near and far. This is a testament to her broad generosity and deep caring for others.
Two viewing sessions will be held on Friday, February 3rd from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm and from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at M. John Scanlan’s Funeral Home (781 Newark Pompton Tpke, Pompton Plains, NJ). A funeral Mass will be celebrated 11:00 am Saturday, February 4th at St. Anthony's Church (65 Bartholdi Ave, Butler, NJ). Burial will follow at Our Lady of Magnificat Cemetery (2 Miller Rd, Kinnelon).
A livestream of the Funeral Mass will be available on the St. Anthony’s Facebook page:
St. Anthony’s Facebook- Aranda Livestream
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) in Celia's memory (firstname.lastname@example.org) would be greatly appreciated by her family.
Event Name 1
In Loving Memory
1934 - 2023