Mary Van de Castle

Obituary of Mary Lorene Van de Castle

 Mary Lorene Van de Castle Obituary

Mary Lorene (Wilson) Van de Castle, born in Canton, Ohio on January 28th, 1932, was the oldest daughter of G. Wayne Wilson and Mary Louise (Tootie) Wilson.

On April 3rd, 2024, she passed away in Green Brook, New Jersey where she lived with her daughter, Karen, and son-in-law, Tom Bruning.

Lorene (Lorrie) was a life-long learner before that became a thing. She was salutatorian and scholar-athlete at Lehman High School. She attended Ohio University where she was a Chi Omega, inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a BA in English. She was awarded a fellowship to study Ancient History at the University of Maryland where she met her future husband, John Van de Castle. Lorrie and John moved to New Jersey and first resided in Westfield before building their home in Watchung where they raised their family.

At age 48, Lorrie went to Seton Hall Law School where she received her JD. She worked as an attorney at Post, Pollack, and Goodsell while attending NYU where she earned a Master of Law in taxation. She then opened a law practice with Laurie Fierro and continued to practice law into her 70s.

An avid reader, Lorrie volunteered at the Watchung Library for many years. She was an accomplished piano player. Over the years, she played in several bridge groups. She did the NY Times puzzles into her 90s. When her answers to the Times weekly Spelling Bee were not in the Times answer section she would go to her Oxford English Dictionary to be sure to get credit for words the Times didn’t include. She had no patience for contestants on Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune who didn’t know what she knew. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends at her family’s beach house on LBI. Lorrie was full of life; always up for joining her friends and family whether to attend a sporting event, go to a concert, or see a show, ballet, or opera. She saw Les Miserables so many times that you would have thought they recognized her at the theater. Lorrie had a great sense of humor, often laughing until she cried at the quirky things she said and did.

Most importantly Lorrie adored her children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughters; they were the light of her life. She devoted herself to ensuring that John was well cared for in his final days. She loved spending time with her children’s friends and became almost a second mother to some of them. If she was needed, she was there.

Lorene was predeceased by her husband (John), and her sisters Suzanne Rogers Tedeschi and Jo Ann Wilson. Surviving are her children Karen Van de Castle (her husband Tom Bruning, his son Ben, their daughter-in-law Alexis and granddaughters Evelyn and Violet), Kristin Van de Castle (her husband Krishna Narayanan and their sons William and James), John Van de Castle, Jr.(his wife Yendi and their daughters Joanna and Elizabeth) and Kurt Van de Castle (his wife Ruth and their son Jacob).

A memorial wake will be held on Saturday, May 11th, 2024, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in Lorrie’s name can be made to the American Library Association’s 21st Century Fund by clicking here to donate to ALA, 25 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1300 Chicago, IL 60601. Lorrie would also appreciate it if you would brighten someone's day.



1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Higgins Home for Funerals, Watchung, NJ
752 Mountain Blvd.
Watchung, New Jersey, United States
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