Tuesday, September 30, 2003

John Castellini, 41, St. X, Miami U grad

Father of four coached teams at Nativity

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

PLEASANT RIDGE - John Edward Castellini, a 41-year-old father of four, was a dedicated family man who was loved by countless people.

"He had such a big heart, and a seemingly unlimited capacity to extend warmth and a smile to everyone around him," said one of his many lifelong friends, John Gardner of San Francisco. "He was a real rock - a pillar - to his family first, but also to his friends, colleagues and his community."

Mr. Castellini died Saturday of an apparent heart attack after collapsing at his Pleasant Ridge home.

"He had had a normal day," said his father, Richard Castellini of Mount Lookout. "He played golf, had dinner with his wife. He said he had a stomach ache and 15 minutes later he was close to death."

A member of the St. Xavier High School class of 1980 and a graduate of Miami University, Mr. Castellini was an industrial sales manager for Al Neyer Inc. in Blue Ash.

"It was a big loss for us," said Tom Torbeck of Sycamore Township, vice president of Neyer. "He was very honest - a high integrity individual." Mr. Castellini "lived for his wife and children," said another friend, John Frey of Montgomery. "His involvement with the Nativity parish was a reflection of his love and commitment to family and friends."

Mr. Castellini coached baseball, basketball and soccer for Nativity, the Pleasant Ridge parish. He was president of Parish Council and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

In addition to his father, survivors include his wife of 12 years, Shelley Blanchard Castellini; two daughters, Lyndsey and Barbara; two sons, Samuel and John; his mother, Madeleine Dolle Castellini of Mount Lookout; four brothers, David of Kenwood, Jerome of Winnetka, Ill., James of Seattle and Richard of Evanston, Ill.; three sisters, Jane Balchan of Springfield Township, Nancy Hecht of Anderson Township and Madeleine Neuner of St. Louis.

Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. today at Thomas-Justin Memorial Funeral Home, 7500 Montgomery Road in Kenwood. Mass of Christian burial is 10:30 a.m. Wednesdayat Nativity Church, 5936 Ridge Ave. in Pleasant Ridge.

Memorials: John E. Castellini Family Education Fund, Fifth Third Bank, MD 109026, 38 Fountain Square Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45263; or any Fifth Third Bank branch.


E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com

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