Marie Castaldo,71, of Westfield, NJ died on Monday, September 7, 2020 in her home.
Marie was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY by her late adoptive parents, Robert and Marie Croce. She attended college at St Joseph's College in Brooklyn and received her M.A. in Education from New York University. She started teaching in inner-city schools after college and then, following her father's death, took over the family business before establishing her own company in Bronx, NY. After starting a family of her own, she sold the business and moved to Westfield in 1991. She was immediately a fixture in town, working at Chico's downtown, and in her later years volunteering at the Westfield Service League, mainly in the Thrift and Consignment Shops. If you didn't recognize her from either of those places, she could also be easily recognized by her curly red hair, or her enthusiastic presence cheering on the sidelines of most of her children's sporting events.
Marie was a member of the Garden Club in Westfield and could often be found tending to her enviable garden. She loved crossword puzzles and getting lost in a good book- - or any book. She loved to travel with her husband and friends and recently enjoyed an unforgettable family trip to Paris as well as a yearly trip to Long Beach Island.
Marie was famous for hosting many beautiful events in the backyard with her husband as well as Halloween parties when her children were young. Halloween was one of her favorite holidays and she would love to greet trick-or-treaters with toys and candy and check out their costumes, always wearing a fun (or ridiculous) costume of her own.
Marie had an extremely fun loving nature and a wonderful sense of humor. She laughed often and loved to make others laugh as well. She was artistic and creative, always making wreaths and dried flower arrangements, children's costumes, and wall murals (you might have seen the Washington School landscape she did in the early 90s that remained for many years).
Marie is survived by her husband of 43 years, John, her three children, Lauren Fitzgerald (husband Dennis), Matthew Castaldo (wife Meghan) and Karen Perry (husband Jon). The lights of her life were her three beautiful grandchildren, Dylan, Reese and Lucas. She is also survived by her mother in law, Barbara Castaldo, and many devoted sisters and brothers in law and nieces and nephews.
In lieu of services, the family will be remembering her life sitting out in her garden and are accepting condolences and encouraging warm memories shared by family, friends, and neighbors. For those who wish to donate in her honor, please consider the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation.