Celestino “Tony” Abrego II, 1930-2019

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A memorial service for Celestino “Tony” Lopez Abrego II of Albert Lea will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Bayview Funeral Home in Albert Lea. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. The Rev. Kurt Farrell will officiate. Military honors will be accorded by local veterans organizations. Condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Celestino “Tony” Abrego II

Tony, the eldest son of 15 children of Celestino and Rosie Abrego, was born June 9, 1930, in Brush Creek. 

On Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, Tony peacefully passed away at his home. He was 88. It was Tony’s wish to stay in his home, surrounded by cherished memories, until it was his time to be reunited in heaven with his beloved wife, Sarah.

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Raised next door to each other, Tony and Sarah Garcia grew their love as friends and neighbors, before uniting in marriage June 21, 1952. If asked, they would say their greatest blessings in life were their eight children: Rachel, Victor, Delra, Celeste, Vickie, Tony III, John and Daphney.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Tony was a hardworking and determined man. Throughout his life Tony worked several jobs — often more than one at a time — to support his family.

A loving husband and father, he was dedicated to making sure he was able to take the whole family on annual summer vacations. It was truly one of his greatest joys.

Tony was also a quietly humble man. It came naturally to him to go out of his way to be kind to others.

Tony’s greatest moments in life were time spent with his family. After his treasured Sarah’s passing, he made it a point to continue her tradition of filling their home with all their children and  grandchildren during the holidays. Tony and his dear friend and cherished dog, Wally, were always most happy when family came to visit. 

Tony will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, but especially so by his children, who not only loved him, but also truly admired and respected him: Rachel Rainville of Sun Lakes, Arizona, Victor Abrego of Austin, Tony Abrego and his wife, Theresa, of Mankato, Delra Briones, Celeste and her husband, Jimmy Seitz, Vickie and her husband, Brad Edwin, John Abrego and his wife, Jackie, and Daphney and her husband, Matt Maras, all of Albert Lea, as well as 17 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He is also survived by brothers Pat Abrego of Albert Lea and David Abrego of Glen Rose, Texas; sisters Millie Abrego and Lola Abrego of Albert Lea, Francis Wilborn and Rosie Sanchez of Glen Rose; as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives who loved and adored him. 

Of special note is Tony and Sarah’s good friend and neighbor of many years, Barb Sorum. Barb was the kind of neighbor who always had time to stop and chat when Tony walked Wally, a smile to give when sharing stories about family and baked goods to soothe Tony’s sweet tooth. Barb compassionately helped with Sarah’s care when she was ill, and continued to look in on Tony at times when family could not. Barb shared the Abrego’s love of dogs and has now graciously adopted Tony’s sweet Wally into her family of pets. 

He is preceded in death by his wife, Sarah, in 2005; parents; grandchildren Kimberly Jensen, Jerome Abrego, Derek Abrego and Mason Abrego; five brothers; three sisters; and son-in-law, Dean Briones.