Dominic Castore was the Chairperson of Bronx Community Board 11 on and off over the years, beginning in 1981, for a combined total of 25 years of service as Chair. He joined the Board in 1979, when he was appointed by Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon.
Mr. Castore was born on December 13, 1928 in Brooklyn to first generation immigrants from Bari, Italy. Six months later, he was transported "to the country," now known as the great borough of the Bronx. He, the first among four siblings, grew up in the Little Italy section known as Arthur Avenue. Following his graduation from DeWitt Clinton High, he enlisted in the Army for a period of two years, where he played football with the Ft. Eustis Hell Divers, winning the South East Coast Championship. Beginning approximately in 1949, he spent three to four years at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, focusing on advertising, commercial art and store illustration courses. He wasn't sure if he got his degree because he was too busy working. In 1951, he started working for a series of technical and engineering companies, creating his own contracting company in 1963.
According to his 1977 resume, which remains on file at the Community Board Office, Dom was President of the Morris Park Community Association, which he helped found in 1971. Dom was also a founder, chair, commissioner or coach for the following organizations:
Bronx Civilian Patrol Council (Chair)
Senior Citizens Committee (Chair)
Morris Park Softball League (Founder, 1974, and Commissioner)
Bronx Football League (Founder, 1973, and Commissioner)
All American Youth Conference (Coach)
Pelham Parkway Little League (Coach, 1968 – 1974)
Bronxchester Babe Ruth League (Coach)
In 1979, Dom went back to work after a two-year professional break. This time, he went to work for the New York State Division of Substance Abuse. His only complaint was working with people who didn't seem like they wanted to work. He therefore transferred to the NYS Division for Youth two years later and worked for a short time at the Two World Trade Center tower before moving closer to home, having served the State 12 years in all.
Dom was known as a strong Board Chairman. His diagnosis with Parkinson's in the late 1990s did not stop him from doing what he loved doing best: helping people and maintaining and improving the board's overall appearance. Dom has been a tremendous help to many over the years. When possible, he helped people with job, school, nursing home and apartment home placements. He also helped draw the boundaries of the Community Board back in the day.
Prior to 1985, the Board was without its own police precinct. It relied on assistance from the 43rd and 47th precincts. This of course became a problem. It took the police way too long to respond to an emergency. Dom then with much time, effort and lobbying helped the Board obtain a precinct of its own, also helping with its numbering and placement. According to Dom, the City wanted to put the precinct house on Pelham Parkway versus off to the side at its present location. He thought that this would kill the beauty of the parkway, which remains a defining feature of the Board. Looking back over the years, Dom saw this as one of his major accomplishments: trying to keep the Board as aesthetically pleasing and safe as possible.
Dom was a photogenic person. If you ever visited the Board Office, you would have noticed the wall decorated with photos of him standing with Mayors Koch and Dinkins, State Assembly Member Eliot Engel, Governor Mario Cuomo, State Senator John Calandra and several other dignitaries. Also on display are citations from Borough Presidents Freddy Ferrer and Adolfo Carrion, City Council Members James Vacca and Joel Rivera, and plaques and awards from various groups and organizations. Dom's scrapbooks include letters, citations and news articles from and by members of the Police Department, elected officials, community groups, the Bronx News, the Daily News, Bronx Times Reporter, New York magazine, and other distinguished organizations, publications and individuals.
Other than his family, Dom loved nothing more than the Bronx, to which he dedicated most of his life. He passed away in Palm Beach, Florida at the age of 83 on Saturday, November 10, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife (Pat Cococcia), her children (Amy, Christopher and Adam) and grandchildren (Lexi and Vincent), his sisters (Grace and Camille), and his children (Leonard and Patricia) and grandchildren (Matthew, Alexa, Jaclyn, Michelle and Rosemary).