Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Cecelia Roberta Beckwith-Revitz

Cecelia “Cele” Roberta Beckwith-Revitz, of Weirsdale, Fla. and Shelter Island returned to her heavenly home on March 17, 2023.

Cele was born on May 9, 1948, to the late Anita Geraldine “Gerri” and Sidney “Sid” Beckwith at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.

Cele grew up on Shelter Island and after graduating from high school went on to graduate with honors from nursing school in Manhattan and worked in several New York City hospitals. During this time, she was saved into the Catholic Church during the Charismatic Renewal of the early 1970s. Her faith remained a pillar of her life from then on.

Cele moved to Maine to pursue the process of discernment, but ultimately decided to return to nursing and became an OB and labor and delivery nurse, at what is now Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

She eventually left the Catholic Church for Living Water Full Gospel Church, a new, non-denominational spirit-filled church. It was here that she got her first missionary calling.

In the 1990s, Cele moved to Brooklyn and worked for Visiting Nurse Service and ran a homeless ministry at Brooklyn Tabernacle. These years were also filled with operating a bookstore, starting a foreclosure rescue service and running an unwed mothers’ sober house, along with all her other church duties. 

Cele’s mother and father were snowbirds, and spent winters in Clermont, Fla. When her mother became ill, she moved to Florida to be with them. In Florida, she met her husband, Ronald Revitz, and they married on New Year’s Eve 2000.

She got a job at Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care, where she would work for the next 20 years in a job that benefited from both her skills as a nurse and her deep connection to God. After more than 30 years of theological schooling at various Bible colleges, in May 2019 she received her Doctorate of Scriptural Psychology at the age of 72.

In late 2022, Cele developed a recurrence of cancer and was undergoing treatment when she succumbed to her illness. She kept saying, “I still have work to do,” and was even making plans for the summer.

Cele had a firm belief in the power of the holy spirit and in the healing power of salvation and was usually at church whenever the doors were open. She had a lifelong love of singing and was part of the choir for every church she belonged to. Her love of animals was legendary.

For 50 years she led a life of ministry in the U.S., Uganda, South Africa, and Malawi, helping people to live their best life, find their own calling, and then go on to inspire others to do so as well.

Cele was predeceased by her parents and brother, David Elwood Beckwith. She is survived by her husband, Ron Revitz; son Ryan Revitz; daughter Rachel Revitz; adopted sons John, Jacob and Joseph Gilligan; and multiple generations of cousins. She also has an extended family from her years of ministry in the U.S. and Africa.

A celebration of life will take place at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church on Saturday, July 15, 2023 at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at the Shelter Island Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Lighthouse of Hope for the Nations, Inc., 15471 SE 175th Street, Weirsdale, FL 32195, or Life Church AG Missions, 4001 Picciola Road, Fruitland Park, FL 34731.