Basil “Pete” DeCastro, a longtime resident of Springs and Sag Harbor, died of cancer at home on the evening of Dec. 18, 2015.
Born in Sag Harbor Sept. 16, 1935, Basil Gordon DeCastro was the son of Astrid and Gordon DeCastro. In 1953, Pete graduated from Pierson High School in Sag Harbor and then attended Farmingdale Agricultural and Technical College from 1955 to 1957. He served several years in the National Guard before settling into a full-time career as a carpenter and builder — a profession he actively pursued until the very end of his life.
Pete had a “hands-on” approach to life and could justifiably point with pride to the many homes in the Hamptons area that he had built over the last 60 years. In semi-retirement he continued to do what he loved best by volunteering his skills to Habitat for Humanity and in helping renovate parts of Christ Church in Sag Harbor, while continuing to build houses.
In addition to building and excavating with his John Deere tractor, his favorite pastime was boating — most surely influenced by his heritage from two generations of DeCastros that made their living locally on the water in Sag Harbor. Their spirits must have smiled to see Pete zipping around the inlet at Bay Point in his Achilles raft or motoring about Gardiners Bay in his beloved Viking, September’s Song.
When not in Sag Harbor or Springs, he and his wife, Dale, could be found on Marco Island in Florida, where they enjoyed the warm winters and Pete would take his beloved 1952 Chevrolet pickup to car shows.
Pete was predeceased by his first wife, the former Margaret Helmdag, and his daughter, Barbara Margaret DeCastro.
Pete is survived by his second wife, the former Laura “Dale” Corwin Grathwohl; his son, James, of Delray Beach, Fla., and his granddaughter Jamie Primer and great-granddaughter, McKenna, both living in Carlsbad, Calif.; and Dale’s family, who all loved him dearly: Laurie Austin, Ned Grathwohl, Glen Grathwohl and their families, including grandchildren Skyler, Macie, Bryce and Garret Grathwohl and Mark, Michael and David Austin, and great-grandchildren, Amelia and Jace Austin. Also surviving Pete are his three sisters, Jane Cahill of Holbrook, Diane Scholtz of Naples, Fla., and Nancy Merrit of Sag Harbor.
Interment will take place Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor following a burial Mass at Christ Church. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.
Arrangements were entrusted to Yardley & Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor.
This is a paid notice.