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Gerda Elli Paul Cely

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J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
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“May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived. You are in our thoughts and...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Karen Seeley - Acquaintance

“Diane, I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I remember visiting your home (& swimming pool) when we were in high school. She was...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Teresa Smith - Charleston, SC

“Diane, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. Your mom was a sweet lady; always so kind to us. My mother loved her so. Please know I'm thinking of...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Jim Chapman - Charleston - Friend

“Hey Diane,So very sorry to hear about your mother's death. When we were teenagers, I always loved coming to your house and visiting with your mom...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: RHONDA LENEAU WIGGINS

“I has the pleasure of meeting Gerda when I worked with her daughter Diane. From the moment I met her, I knew she was Special!!!! Gerda was a ...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: PATRICIA BRUNSON - SC - Friend

“Your mother was a legend in her own time. She was a regular on the square in The Villages, Fl. and she was always easy to spot dressed in her white...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: eileen jones - LADY LAKE, FL

“My sincere condolences, Diane, for the death of your mother, Gerda.A fun loving spirit is what I recall about Gerda - the few times I was around her...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Jerry Knight - Acquaintance

“Diane, May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I remember your mother well & will keep you in my prayers. ”
8 of 10 | Posted by: Michael Thomas - Goose Creek, SC

“My family and I met Ms. Gerda 8 years ago with her daughter Diane on the internet and since then they became part of our family. We considered Ms....Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Addie Valenza - Montreal, Canada

“Miss Gerda was a great friend to my Aunt Sara and Uncle Jim. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. ”
10 of 10 | Posted by: Rose Marie Lankford


Gerda Elli Paul Cely, 91, of Leesburg, FL, entered into eternal rest on October 29, 2020 at UF Health Leesburg, with her daughter at her side. A private graveside service will be held at 11AM on Friday, November 6, 2020, at Live Oak Memorial Gardens, Charleston, SC. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., West Ashley Chapel, 3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway, Charleston, SC 29414.

Gerda was born March 9, 1929 in Magdeburg, Germany to Heinrich and Hedwig Paul. Having grown up in Nazi Germany she was most proud of becoming an American citizen. She met Joseph E. Cely while he was stationed with the U.S. Navy in what was then known as West Germany in 1949 and they married in 1953. They settled in Charleston, SC and he preceded her in death in 1982.

In 2000 she and her daughter moved to The Villages for 5 years, then moved to Leesburg. While in Florida she was known for wearing an elegant outfit for whatever holiday was celebrated. She was a very talented artist and seamstress. She enjoyed traveling in the USA and abroad, many day trips to Disney World and watching NASCAR on television as well as attending many races throughout the Southeast. She firmly believed in living life to the fullest and even in illness she was always looking forward to the next fun thing to do.

She is survived by her daughter Diane Cely of Leesburg; her nieces Sherrie (Mike) Johnson of Hendersonville, NC and Ursel (Horst) Rathert of Minden, Germany and several grand nieces and nephews.

Beside her parents she is preceded in death by 2 brothers in Germany.

Donations may be made to the charity of choice, but Gerda always supported military and veterans' charities.