After having bravely fought cancer during the past two and a half years, our dearest Gelsina (aka Gessie and Gel Bell), now soars with the angels and is being welcomed home. She crossed over peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at 7:50am on Friday, September 25, 2020 at age 58. She always thought that life was funny and felt that things were about to get funnier for her after crossing over. She had a great sense of humor and her laughter was absolutely contagious.
Gelsina was predeceased by her father, Giuseppe Fontana. She is survived by her daughter, Rachel Lynn Collier, her mother, Rosalia Fontana, her steadfast partner Tom Dodds, her siblings, Josefina Fontana (sons Joey and Orlando), Nick Fontana (wife Beth and children Megan, Kristin, and Jason), Tony Fontana (wife Mary and children AJ and Lillian), Marisa Livaditis (husband John and sons Athan and Nicholas). She will be greatly missed by her beloved godson Joey Armas-Turner (husband Jamar) and his 5 beautiful children, Joey Jr, Camila, Francesco, Alejandro and Serafina.
She was born in Venezuela to her parents, Giuseppe, hailing from Abruzzi, Italy and Rosalia from Venezuela. The family then immigrated to the United States along with her younger sister when she was just two years old. She grew up Roman Catholic in a loud tri-lingual and cultural household in Germantown, Philadelphia. The family (to include her four siblings and their Nonna) later relocated to Wilmington, Delaware when she was 15. She was a life-long learner and graduated from Goldey-Beacom College. She had a great career and tenure as the office manager for E.ON, an investor-owned electric utility service provider based in Germany.
Her main passions in life included shopping, traveling, bus trips to NYC shows, the beach (specifically Addy Sea, a Victorian oceanfront B&B), romance novels, great music from all walks of life and getting lucky with slot machines. She loved bright and dazzling clothes, purses and earrings and they all reflected her charisma. Her latest and favorite shopping venue was Gabes! She also loved red cardinals as they were comforting and symbolic. This made Gelsina feel that her father was paying a visit. Above all, she was a major foodie and appreciated all types of cuisines. One of her favorite dishes being Venezuelan hallacas.
She had the biggest heart on the planet and was generous to all of her loved ones. She truly loved her friends and always made it a point to listen and engage with them on a one to one basis. She placed everyone on a pedestal and for these reasons and more, she will be sorely missed and, most of all, treasured.
In light of the current pandemic, and the desire to keep everyone safe, Gelsina’s memorial service will be private and limited to immediate family members only. In lieu of flowers, it was Gelsina’s wish to direct offerings to The Helen Graham Center, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Rd, Newark, DE 19713 or to the Faithful Friends Animal Society, 12 Germay Drive, Wilmington, DE 19804.