Robert S. Castle, 77, salesman, poet, volunteer

October 17, 2002

Robert S. Castle, a retired salesman who was a poet and volunteer, died of cancer Sunday at his Cockeysville home. He was 77.

The Chicago native spent his early years at Brand-Castle Farm in Walkersville, where his father trained thoroughbred horses, including Challedon, the 1939 Preakness winner. The family later moved to Roland Park, and he graduated from City College.

Mr. Castle enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served during World War II aboard the USS Regan as a gunner.

After selling advertising, printing and engraving, Mr. Castle worked for Winner Distributing Co., a wholesale beverage distributor, until retiring in 1995.

As a youth, Mr. Castle had gotten to know American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, whose works influenced his writings. "He could capture the smell of freshly cut timothy grass, the chirping of tree frogs, the chill of a morning fog, and the glory of sunsets in his poems, which he wrote and shared like recipes," said Melinda Marshall, a niece from Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

Mr. Castle was a volunteer driver at Villa Maria in Timonium, a residential and community program for children with mental health problems.

He also cared for stray animals, often traveling in his car with cans of dog food and condensed milk in case he came upon a hungry or lost creature. "He had an unfailing radar for animals and people overlooked by everybody else, whether it was a one-eyed sheep dog by the road or a small child in a roomful of adults," Ms. Marshall said.

Mr. Castle was a parishioner of Maryland Presbyterian Church, 1105 Providence Road, where services will be held at 10 a.m. today.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, the former Virginia Seitz; a son, Robert R. Castle of Timonium; a daughter, Kimberly C. Turner of Towson; two stepsons, Carsten Bolte of New York City and Mark Bolte of Columbia, S.C.; a stepdaughter, Lynn Samaan of Rockport, Mass.; and nine grandchildren. Mr. Castle's marriage to the former Peggy Bolte ended in divorce.

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