OSWEGO — Mr. Joseph Dominic Castaldo, “JD,” 92, prominent, lifetime resident of Oswego, New York, family man, business leader, and pillar of the community, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Sept. 12, 2020.
Mr. Castaldo, predeceased by devoted wife Alma Mae (Mitchell) Castaldo, was the last surviving member of a large first-generation Italian American family. Son of Dominic and Anna (Sperino) Castaldo, he was predeceased by two sisters, Ceilia Godici and Mary Ann Castaldo, and seven brothers, Angelo Castaldo, James Castaldo, Samuel Castaldo, Richard Castaldo, Louis Castaldo, the Rev. Raymond Castaldo and Dominic Castaldo.
Throughout his life, Mr. Castaldo surrounded himself with those he trusted and loved. The most important relationship in his life was with his wife, best friend, and business partner, Alma. Together they raised a family of successful children and grandchildren who have dedicated their lives to industries that support either our local economy, the environment, or helping others.
Mr. Castaldo leaves behind three loving daughters, Cindy Murabito, Sandra Bilson and Patricia Reynolds; six grandchildren, Joseph Murabito (Ana Maria), Michael Murabito, Gregory Bilson (Erin), Jessica Cousens (Cassidy), Katherine Toomey and Nicole Reynolds (Daniel Jones); and seven great-grandchildren, Isabella and Joseph Murabito, Thea Bilson, Jude Cousins, George and Patrick Toomey, Nicolas Jones; and sisters-in-law, Roseanne Castaldo, Florence Castaldo, and Beverly Mitchell. Mr. Castaldo also was surrounded by numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Castaldo’s work and influence in Oswego began as a young child working on several local farms and with his father, where he cultivated his skills as a mason. His hard work, talent, and success led to the establishment of the Joseph D. Castaldo Construction Company Inc., where he served as owner and president for over 30 years. During this time, Castaldo helped shape the skyline of Oswego and the surrounding cities of central New York with projects such as, Oswego’s City Hall, St. Joseph’s Church and was the builder, owner and manager of 120 E. First St., formerly known as the Riverfront office building and later the Board of Education building.
He completed many major commercial construction projects including Armstrong, Steam Station, Newman Center at SUNY Oswego, Alcan, Sealright, James A. FitzPatrick, Nine Mile, additions to Oswego Hospital, and many more. In 2017, Mr. Castaldo was honored by Mayor William Barlow for his undeniable contributions to the City of Oswego, and the 120 E. First St. Building was recently dedicated “The JD & Alma Riverfront Office Building.”
Mr. Castaldo also served as an officer in the Carpenters Union. Additionally, he advocated for the local business community and supported service organizations including the Salvation Army, the Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and sponsored local sports teams. He also served in the National Guard for over 10 years.
Mr. Castaldo enjoyed many hobbies. An avid outdoorsman, he tended a family farm raising cows and chickens, and cultivated the surrounding farmland. Always encouraging and exposing his family to his passion for the environment and wildlife through any number of outdoor activities, he could often be found with his family, through the spring and summer fishing on Lake Ontario or in local streams, or through the fall and winter hunting on the family farm. Mr. Castaldo always had an impressive garden and his green thumb also reflected in his talent to grow grape vines that were well over 50 years old and sprouting fig trees from his father’s originals.
On the off chance he wasn’t working hard at his job or one of his hobbies, he could be found perfectly content tending to his backyard, attending family sporting or musical events, or simply barbecuing poolside with his family and friends sharing adventures from his childhood or life experiences over a glass of homemade wine or a Budweiser.
His memory will be forever celebrated and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Calling hours will be held from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Nelson Funeral Home, 11 W. Albany St. Masks are required and social distancing will be enforced in following state guidelines.
A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at St. Joseph’s Church. If you plan on attending, you must register in advance with the church rectory at 315-343-2333.
Private entombment will follow in St. Peter Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.