Benjamin C. Castro, World War Ii Veteran

August 01, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Benjamin C. Castro, a former businessman and Northwood resident, died Tuesday of cardiac arrest at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose, Mass. He was 81.

Mr. Castro was born and raised in Pampanga province in the Philippines. He attended the University of the Philippines, where he studied medicine.

With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted as a second lieutenant in the Philippine army, which fought alongside U.S. forces.

The Philippines eventually fell to the Japanese. In 1944, Mr. Castro was part of the Philippine army that regrouped under U.S. forces under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

After the war, he worked as chief of security for LaCarlota Sugar Central. He later was a customs official and owned and operated several restaurants in the Manila area.

In 1971, Mr. Castro immigrated to Boston under a law that allowed former members of the Philippine army who had served with U.S. forces during World War II to be granted citizenship.

Mr. Castro moved to Hillendale in 1979 and later settled on Ingram Road in Northwood.

He briefly owned and operated the Nipa Hut on Harford Road, which sold Filipino goods. Later, he was a self-employed businessman traveling between the U.S. and the Philippines, buying and selling sugar, rice and other foods.

Since 1992, Mr. Castro had lived in Melrose, Mass. He enjoyed meeting with fellow World War II veterans.

Services were held Friday.

Surviving are his wife of 64 years, the former Teresita Locsin; three sons, Melvin Castro of Baltimore, Manny Castro of Towson, and Carlos Castro of Framingham, Mass.; five daughters, Catherine Genthner of Timonium, Lorna McGinty and Christina Palmisano, both of Baltimore, Marijo Castro-Fadragalan of Taunton, Mass., and Ana Castro of Dorchester, Mass.; a sister, Maneta Castro of Timonium; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another son, Edwin Castro, died in 1969.

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