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Mary's Story

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Mary Elizabeth Celsi, PhD
Mary Elizabeth Celsi, born in Anaheim, CA on December 1, 1961 to Carol Jo Lloyd and William Finley moved to Texas less than one year ago because of her love for open spaces and horses. Mary passed away October 30th as the result of a riding accident near her home in Callisburg.
Mary retired only last month as a Professor of Marketing from California State University, Long Beach, CA. She received her BS from Vanderbilt University and her MBA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She spent her career at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) where she met the love of her life, Richard. Mary is survived by Richard, her mother Carol Jo Finley, a son, Matthew, two sisters (Linda, Elkens, AK; Norma, Pensacola, FL), a brother William (Fayetteville, AK), her mother (Elkens, AK), numerous nieces and nephews, and 21 treasured animals.
Mary was a Professor since 1990. Her contributions to the profession were scholarly, pedagogical, and administrative. Mary developed numerous courses and excelled as a teacher of marketing research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research interests are expansive and apply to many social science fields. Even after retirement, she continued to work on her research, including an innovative project on the "Cowgirl Culture." As an Associate Dean, Mary facilitated strategic planning and assessment, and developed and implemented policies to evaluate and improve faculty qualifications at CSULB. Mary is most remembered by her colleagues as an ethical, talented, passionate, and compassionate person who gave all that she had and who was not afraid to fight for what was right. She is the co-author of two Marketing Research text books.
Mary's last years were completely devoted to an equestrian lifestyle, first in Cherry Valley, CA and recently, in Whitesboro, Texas. Mary retired early to follow Richard to Whitesboro where they could indulge their love of horses and other animals. Mary was happiest riding her horse Preacher barrel racing and on the trail with her husband. At home, she was surrounded by her nine cats and a rabbit. Mary was an avid reader, a passion fueled by her thirst for learning.
One of Mary's last Facebook posts was an article by Jean Pond - Mary noted "I feel like she is speaking to me".
First, we would wish for those we love, those close in friendship, that they should understand what we lived for, our values and intentions, what we meant by our life at our best, seeing our faults and mistakes with understanding and generosity.
Second, we would wish that our life had made a difference. We recognize how little one individual and one lifetime can mean, the totality. We wish for some increment of good in our struggle for a better life - something enduring beyond the finality of personal death.
Third, we would wish for those we love that they should not be depressed. Rather we would wish them the courage and faith to face the future with a sense of direction and concern for each other.
For all of Mary's professional accomplishments and personal talents and qualities, she will be most remembered as someone who cared deeply about living a life full of love, laughter, and integrity. You could recognize her laugh across a crowded room. Mary is lovingly remembered by all who knew her.
There will be a visitation Friday evening (6-7PM) at the George J. Carroll & Sons Funeral Home at 602 Lindsay Street, Gainesville, TX 76240. Services will be held at the funeral home at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 5th, followed by burial at the Callisburg Cemetery in Callisburg, TX. For additional information, please contact the George J. Carroll & Sons Funeral Home at (940) 665-3455.
You may sign the online registry at www.geojcarroll.com
Published on November 2, 2016
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