James (Jim) Attilio Castellan, age 69, son of Attilio James Castellan and Susan Galaijda Castellan, formally of Alexandria, Virginia and Hanover, Maryland and most recently of Clarksville, Maryland, has passed away after a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from American University, Jim went on to contribute to the fields of satellite communications services and information technology systems. He worked for COMSAT in Washington, DC, Oriole Software in Towson, Maryland, and was a consultant to Fed Data, Tandem Computers, and AOL while working as a partner at DND, INC.
Jim and Cathy (Kerley) met playing volleyball and they were married in 1977. Their son, Michael Patrick married Teresa (Massaro) and they reside in New Egypt, New Jersey with their children Ryan, Logan, and Mia. Jim and Cathy’s daughter, Bridget Marie is married to Len Pettiford Jr. They reside in Clarksville, MD and have two sons, James and Jack. Despite the darkness of Alzheimer’s, Jim’s greatest light was his 5 grandchildren. Jim is predeceased by his parents, his sister Nancy Grubb and her husband Jim, as well as his sister Priscilla Bayer. He is survived by Dan Bayer and his wife Kay. On Cathy’s side, he is predeceased by her sister, Mary Lavin and Cathy’s parents, James and Mary (Bier) Kerley. He is survived on Cathy’s side by Vince and Mary Kerley, Ed Lavin, Joe and Betsy Kerley, Bernadette Maertens and many nieces and nephews.
While family was the heart of Jim’s life, another passion he pursued was bicycling. He started cycling in his childhood hometown, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania on the steep hillside roads. Years later, he somehow convinced his family that doing a 6 day, 350 mile Cycle Across Maryland was acceptable as a family vacation. Before abandoning the bicycle to Alzheimer’s, Jim managed to ride tens of thousands of miles on an upright, recumbent, or tandem recumbent bike with Cathy.
If the measure of a man is his character, then Jim must have measured far more than his 5 foot, 10 inch height. He had a work ethic that surpassed most and a compassion for others as he easily shared his time, money and spirit with those in need. He did the right thing when no one was looking and he could always be trusted to speak the truth. All of this was often intertwined with his clever and sarcastic sense of humor. Jim was a man of character. He was a good man and the world is a better place because he was here.
Services are limited due to Covid19 restrictions. A memorial service will be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the following The Alzheimer's Foundation, www.alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/ or the Gilchrist Hospice at, www.gilchristcares.org/