Ethel M. Castles Print E-mail



Ethel Margaret Castles

Retired supervisor at former Southern New England Telephone;

Ethel Margaret Castles, 95, of North Haven, CT, died on May 14, 2015.

Born in Hartford, CT on December 3, 1919, the only child of the late Harry Joseph and the late Ethel (Bamber) Castles, she spent her early years in Manchester, Shelton, and New Haven, where she graduated from Hillhouse High School, Class of 1938.

Ethel received several degrees from Southern Connecticut State College (now University): Associate’s (1959); BA, English (1965); MA, English (1976 – Thesis: The Theme of Melancholy in Eugene O’Neill’s Plays); and, Masters of Library Science (1986).

As a child, Ethel spent time with relatives in the Lowell, MA area, when she was also a member of the “True Blue Club.” Club members attended summer camp at Wenham, MA’s Iron Rail property, sponsored by Helen C. Frick. Ethel’s mother and aunts were original Club members.

During her 43-year career, she held various supervisory and management positions in the Comptroller’s Office of the former Southern New England Telephone Company. After retiring and receiving her Masters of Library Science, Ethel was, for many years, a librarian at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven and the Miller Memorial Library in Hamden. She also volunteered at the Second-Hand Purse Book Shop, sponsored by the Friends of the Hamden Library.

Ethel was a life member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, and a past member of both the American Association of University Women and the American Library Association. She was secretary of the reunion committee of the Hillhouse Class of 1938. Ethel was a member of St. Rita’s Catholic Church, in Hamden, Ct. An avid reader of 19th and 20th century literature and most biographies, Ethel could often be found reading more than one book at a time. She also enjoyed rug-hooking, postcard collecting, theatre, and many types of music, especially jazz and opera.

She loved, and was well-loved, by many friends, neighbors, cousins, and especially her cats, Meggie, then Spencer. Ethel is survived by the Tracy family, formerly of Milford, CT, who considered Ethel to be an honorary member of their extended family. Ethel was particularly close to and a good friend to her cherished goddaughter, Tara Tracy, and her husband Tom Brightman. Ethel is survived by a number of relatives and their families, including: cousins Lisa Bamber; Ann Chandler Patterson; Eleanore Ryan McCormack; Kathryne Ryan Sawtwelle; Joseph Ryan; Jane Dockett Lane; Virginia Dockett Johnson; and, cousin and goddaughter Dorothy Dockett Stumpf. In her final years, Ethel very much appreciated the care and assistance that she received from an extended network of professional and loving health care aides.

Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 8:30 to 9:30 A.M. Saturday May 23, 2015. A  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH (543 Bridge St., Lowell, MA) at 10 o’clock. Burial will be in’the Westlawn Cemetery, Lowell, MA. E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in her memory to the Connecticut Hospice 100Double Beach Rd., Branford, CT  06405 or the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s Mary J. Bacigalupo Community Fund or Walter Andrew Bacigalupo Memorial Fund, c/o GLCF, 100 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA, 01852. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.




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