EUGENE J. CASTELLANO is survived by his wife, Grace Carrara; his daughter, Judith Paris; son-in-law, Chris Paris; daughter, Joyce Bigelow; future son-in-law, John Mazzetta; grandchildren Matthew, Brianna, Nicholas and Gavin; and sister, Eleanor Castellano. A Brooklyn native, he moved to Staten Island is 1972 and then to Rockville Centre in 2011. On his Army discharge, he obtained a B.A. and a Masters of Arts degree from Brooklyn College, the latter degree from the Sociology Department for his thesis "The Social Concepts of the Mafia in Sicily."
He worked as an investigator for Mutual of Omaha, the NYC Department of Welfare, the State Harness Racing Commission, and lastly for the Division of Licensing Services of the Department of State, where he worked mostly on real estate brokerage complaints. For some years, he also handled all license applications and complaints on Staten Island. He retired in 1990.
He was a competitive runner and swimmer, racing with "Marathoning Men and Women" and swimming with "Psyquatics", the Staten Island YMCA team.
He was an avid camera bug, traveling with a camera in his car for many years. He enjoyed writing letters to editors, especially to the once liberal New York Post, and latter to the Advance and Newsday. In his latter years, he turned to poetry, writing many poems concerning his grandchildren, politics, and religion; maintained his in-ground pool; and enjoyed gardening. Some of his photographs and poems will be on display at his wake.
He conceived and served as the first President of "Young Americans of Italian Extraction", a "talented-tenth" organization in Brooklyn that held public meetings with speakers on current issues, and that held dances as a fund-raiser for awards to high school students for excellence in the Italian language.
Until barred by health, he was a member of the Gallon Club at St. Vincent's Hospital. For some years, he annually ran the Senior Olympic Swim Meet and the Youth Swim meet at the Broadway Y on Staten Island.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ASPCA in memory of Gene.
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