Robert Castelli


4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, May 24, 2024
Clark Associates Funeral Home
4 Woods Bridge Road
Katonah, New York, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Saturday, May 25, 2024
St. Josephs RC Church
95 Plum Brook Road
Somers, New York, United States


12:15 pm
Saturday, May 25, 2024
St. John's Cemetery
80-01 Metropolitan Ave
Middle Village, New York, United States
(718) 894-4888

Obituary of Robert J. Castelli

Robert J. Castelli of Katonah, New York, formerly of Lewisboro, New York, passed away on May 21, 2024, at the age of 74.

A former State Assemblyman, Robert J. Castelli dedicated his life to public service beginning at the age of 17 when he left high school to join the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Following basic and advanced infantry training, he volunteered for service in Vietnam, where he was assigned to the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Air Cavalry Division as an infantryman.


He arrived in Vietnam and participated in combat operations during the Tet Offensive of 1968, including the Battles of Hue, Khe Sanh, and the A Shau Valley, three of the largest battles of the war. As an infantry point man and later a reconnaissance company team member, he rose to the rank of Sergeant by the age of 19 and remained in Vietnam through part of 1969. He returned home and continued to serve as a training instructor at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, until leaving the Army to return to school. His commendations included the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Air Assault Badge, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, as well as unit awards such as the Presidential Unit Citation and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.


After completing his education, Robert began a career in law enforcement as a State Constable in South Carolina, followed by a distinguished 21-year career with the New York State Police, where he served as a Trooper, Sergeant, Investigator, and Station Commander.


With a graduate degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Robert transitioned to academia, teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Marist College, and Iona College, where he eventually became chairman of the Criminal Justice Department.


Robert continued his public service by serving four years on the Town Board of Lewisboro in Westchester County and was later elected to two terms in the New York State Assembly. There, he served as a ranking member on the Veterans Affairs Committee and passed several significant pieces of veterans' legislation.


Outside of his professional life, Robert enjoyed spending time outdoors. An avid sportsman and conservationist, he was a member of the Campfire Club of America and Explorers Club. In his early years, he indulged in sports cars, skydiving, and competitive trap shooting. He also loved hunting, port wine, cigars, and, most of all, spending time with family and friends. Robert will be remembered as a soldier, servant, scholar, and statesman. He was one of a kind, and to know him was to love him.


He is survived by his beloved wife Jeanette, his children Christian (Sharon) Castelli and Paul (Jourdan) Castelli, and his grandchildren Sarah, Keegan, Katelynn, Eric and Payton. Robert will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.


A celebration of Roberts life will be held at Clark Associates Funeral Home located at 4 Woods Bridge Road, Katonah, New York on Friday, May 24th from 4:00-8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 95 Plum Road, Somers, New York, on Saturday, May 25th at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Queens.

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