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Thursday, February 1, 2001

William D. Castle,
dies at 85


By Janine Tully

Prominent philanthropist William Donald Castle died yesterday after battling cancer for several months at his home in Hale Ola Kino senior center. He was 85.

The great-grandson of Samuel Northrup Castle, a missionary and co-founder of Castle & Cooke, William Castle followed in his family's footsteps by becoming a financier and philanthropist. The Castle family founded several trusts, including the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation.

But the people who came to visit Castle at the hospital were not "the bankers and famous people," said his son, Alfred Castle. "They were the janitors and gardeners, the small people," said Alfred, his voice breaking with emotion.

He'll remember his father most for his "kindness, gentleness and sensitivity," traits which unfortunately are all too rare today, he said. "He had a real commitment to the people of Hawaii."

Castle assisted hundreds of community organizations through large monetary gifts.

He was born in Honolulu in 1916. After graduating from Harvard, he joined the Navy during World War II as an officer, specializing in intelligence.

Castle is survived by sons: William, Randy, Alfred and Carlyle; sister Gwendolyn Murphy; and two grandchildren.

Memorial service is at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 at First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu. Inurnment is private. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to Punahou School Development Department, the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross or the Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation.

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