SANDY RIDGE, N.C. — Area native Katherine “Kitsie” Feldman Castor, a longtime child care provider, lifelong naturalist and summer resident of Grindstone Island in the Thousand Islands, died Wednesday, July 24 after a brief illness at her home in northern Stokes County, North Carolina.
She was 68.
Mrs. Castor, one of six siblings, grew up in Fairport-Perinton, southeast of Rochester, and married another Fairport native, Stephen W. Castor, in 1969. They lived for 30 years in Fairport village and their residence was a second home for a generation of Fairport children who were raised in Mrs. Castor’s nurturing village day care environment.
“I always believed that I should give my life in care for children of Fairport residents,” her son, Craig, recalled his mom saying. “Our neighborhood had many young children whose parents worked. I was fortunate to be an at-home mom with enough room and a nice yard to care of them.”
She and her husband – a seventh generation Fairporter – both graduated from Fairport High School in 1968. Their son, Stephen Craig Castor, 49, lives in Greensboro, N.C. and Sandy Ridge, and their adopted foster child, Gennifer Cuddy Castor, 27, lives in Greensboro as well.
Job-related moves in the Caterpillar heavy equipment business for Mrs. Castor’s husband transferred them from Fairport to Cumming, Ga. (suburban Atlanta) in 1998, to Constantia, Onondaga County in 2000, to Stafford Springs, Conn. in 2001 and five years ago to the Piedmont-Triad region.
Especially devoted to birding, gardening and fishing, Mrs. Castor spent summers since the late 1970s at their vacation home, built by her husband and family on Rusho Bay, Grindstone Island.
She maintained an active life list of birds, numbering in the hundreds, and became friends to many families who have lived on Grindstone Island for generations. Her closest companions beyond her family were her three Havanese dogs – Willow, Misty and Lily – who traveled with them to the islands and beyond.
Mrs. Castor supported The Grindstone Island Research and Heritage Center, the Thousand Islands Land Trust, Save The River and several animal rescue groups. She was a kind, gentle and compassionate lady who loved animals, laughed often, gave of herself endlessly and cherished her family.
Mrs. Castor’s siblings are Linda Feldman Locke of Sarasota, Fla., the late Jeffrey Feldman of Eugene, Ore., Nicholas Feldman of Denver, Colo. , the late Holly Feldman Mead of Richmond, Va., and Tracy Feldman Johnson of Manassas, Va. Their parents were Samuel and Katherine Eileen Feldman and stepmother Erna Prietz Thompson Feldman.
She is also survived by one grandson, River Caleb Castor (father Craig) and 11 nephews and nieces.
A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial donations may be sent to Noah’s Ark Wildlife Center, Inc., PO Box 136, Sandy Ridge, NC 27046 (www.noahsarkwildlife.org) and Grindstone Island Research & Heritage Center (www.grindstoneisland.org/history/) or GIRHC, PO Box 95, Clayton, NY 13624.