Family, friends and a host of elected and community leaders paid their last respects last week to longtime Community Board 11 Chairman Dom Castore.
A funeral mass at St. Clare of Assisi in Morris Park brought tears and some smiles as Castore, who served on the board since 1979, was remembered.
He died at a Florida hospice Nov. 10 at age 88 after a lengthy illness.
”Dom was about serving and Dom was about helping us,” said Father Richard Gorman, chairman of Community Board 12 in Wakefield-Williamsbridge, who delivered the homily. “Is there anyone here who ever heard the word ‘No’ from Dom Castore?...Dom was all about helping.”
“Dom is now with the central board chairman of all creation,” Gorman told the audience, drawing laughs.
Among Castore’s honorary pall bearers were Senator Jeff Klein, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, current district manager Jeremy Warneke and former manager John Fratta.
Outside the church, a number of community leaders spoke proudly of their friendship with Castore and of his service to the community.
“Dom was more than a friend. Dom was a mentor,” said Joe Thompson, Board 11 member and director of the White Plains Road Business Improvement District. “He showed me how to be a civic leader.”
Frank Agovino, who with Castore and others founded the Morris Park Community in 1971, recalled how they also started the Morris Park Softball League.
“We started out with eight teams and we wound with about 64 teams.”
Jeremy Warneke, Board 11’s district manager, who gave one of the eulogies, recalled how Castore “loved telling stories.”
“If you had an ear, Dom would fill it. Aside from food, he just loved talking to people.”
Al D’Angelo, current head of the Morris Park Community Association, spoke of Castore’s talent as a leader.
“He always seemed to make the right decisions. He weighed all the facts and made decisions that people lived by. He’ll be sorely missed.”
“It’s a sad day,” said Board 11 vice chairman Anthony Vitaliano. “The board will miss his experience and his guidance. There will never be another Dom Castore.”
Besides serving as head of the community board, Castore was active in a number of local community groups, including the Bronx Civilian Patrol Council, Senior Citizens Committee, Morris Park Softball League, Bronx Football League, All American Youth Conference, Pelham Parkway Little League and Bronxchester Babe Ruth League.
He also worked for the New York State Division of Substance Abuse and NYS Division for Youth.
Following the funeral mass, Castore was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Castore is survived by his wife Pat Cococcia, her children, Amy, Christopher and Adam, and grandchildren Lexi and Vincent, his sisters Grace and Camille, and his children Leonard and Patricia, and grandchildren Matthew, Alexa, Jaclyn, Michelle and Rosemary.
©2012 Community News Group