John “Jack” Castle Sr., 89, formerly of Methuen, Mass., and Fruitland Park, Fla., passed away peacefully on Dec. 26, 2019, in the company of his family at High Pointe Hospice House in Haverhill, Mass. He was born in Lawrence, Mass., on April 2, 1930 to the late George S. Castle and Lucy Eleanor (Maginnis) Castle.
Jack was married to Shirley Elizabeth Kay for 45 years. He was a devout Boston Red Sox fan and lived to see not just one, but four Red Sox World Series championships. Jack graduated from Lawrence High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to ’53. Corporal Castle was a medical clerk in Korea during The Korean War in 1952. Returning home, he became a meat cutter and a long-time meat department manager at First National Supermarkets (Finast) and later Barcelos markets.
Though known as a quiet man with few words, Jack Castle never hesitated to lead, and he became a beloved figure in his community. He was deeply involved in the leadership at Grace Episcopal Church in Lawrence, as a lay reader, church officer, and chairing many committees and drives. He later joined the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, a worldwide Episcopal ministry dedicated to spreading faith, and served as the Brotherhood’s national president. Jack once delivered a speech to the Bronx, N.Y., Boys & Girls Clubs and likened the teamwork and unselfish play of basketball superstars Larry Bird and Magic Johnson to the teachings of love by Jesus. He received a standing ovation.
Jack was also an accomplished athlete, basketball coach, swimmer and Candlepin bowler, with a 120-plus average. After retiring he achieved his dreams of gardening and living in Florida, where he often entertained family and friends.
He leaves three sons, John “Jay” Castle, Jr. and his partner Ann McAdam of Londonderry, N.H., Steven Castle and his wife Sang Soon Castle of Templeton, Mass., and James W. Castle and his wife Sarah Castle of North Waterboro, Maine; three grandchildren, Noah Castle, Cory Castle and Katie Castle; his sister, Eleanor (Castle) MacLauchlan and her family, numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws and cousins, and former partner Arletta Collette and her family. He is predeceased by his wife, Shirley E. (Kay) Castle, a granddaughter, Ashley Anne Castle, and brothers George S. Castle Jr. and Robert A. Castle Sr.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held Monday, January 6, at the Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main St., Salem, N.H. Family and friends are invited for visitation starting at 10 am, with a memorial service to follow at 11 am. A graveside ceremony for Jack and Shirley Castle for family and extended family will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Methuen, Mass. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Merrimack Valley Hospice through the Home Health Foundation https://www.homehealthfoundation.org/.To leave an online condolence, please visit Jack’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
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