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Margaret Mary Castoro, a Baltimore homemaker and assistant to the vice president at Noxell, died Oct. 10 at the Brightview Avondell retirement community in Bel Air. She was 90.
Margaret Mary Castoro, a Baltimore homemaker and assistant to the vice president at Noxell, died Oct. 10 at the Brightview Avondell retirement community in Bel Air. She was 90. (Courtesy Photo)

Margaret Mary Castoro, a Baltimore homemaker and assistant to the vice president at Noxell, died Oct. 10 at the Brightview Avondell retirement community in Bel Air. She was 90.

Born Margaret Mary DiDomenico on Nov. 3, 1928, she was the daughter of Joseph DiDomenico, a Baltimore lawyer, judge and political activist, and the former Lillian Apicella, a homemaker. She grew up on St. Albans Way in North Baltimore, attending Cathedral School and Notre Dame Prep. Known as DiDi to her school friends, a shortening of her last name, she later became known as Bootsie, for reasons that have been lost over the years, said her daughter, Lillian Filichia, of Ocean City, New Jersey.

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“Margaret was intelligent, beautiful, and the life of the party,” Ms. Filichia and her brother, Charles Castoro of Bel Air, wrote in an appreciation of their mother that they composed after her death, in consultation with other family members. “She remained all three until her final days.”

While in high school, a cousin introduced the teenaged Margaret DiDomenico to Joseph Castoro; she quickly became smitten, even learning to play golf, her new boyfriend’s passion. She waited for him while Mr. Castoro served during World War II, flying combat missions over Germany and Austria. The couple married Oct. 2, 1948; 10 months later, their first child, Lillian, was born. The family lived in North Baltimore’s Ramblewood community for many years.

Mrs. Castoro, who studied for two years at Baltimore’s College of Notre Dame of Maryland before leaving school to get married, was a demanding mother, her children wrote, expecting “A grades, perfect behavior and competent athletic performances” from them. She was “the consummate helicopter mom years before the term became popular.” She was also a prodigious fundraiser for her kids’ schools, a talent she never lost. While living at Avondell, Mrs. Castoro liked to brag about all the money she raised at charity events — more money than anyone else, she insisted.

For a few years in the 1960s, Mrs. Castoro put her cooking skills to use, adding homemade specialties ― meatballs and red sauce were customer favorites — to the menu of a diner her husband ran at the New Motel on Pulaski Highway. And in the late 1970s, she decided to look for an office job. With her young grandson in tow, she interviewed at Noxell in Timonium. Working as the assistant to the vice president of international sales for Covergirl cosmetics, one of the company’s premier products, she stayed with Noxell for more than a decade. “To hear her tell it, she ran the place,” her children wrote in their appreciation.

One group who clearly benefited from her time at Noxell were Mrs. Castoro’s granddaughters, who invariably used Covergirl cosmetics when playing dress-up, Ms. Filichia recalled.

After Mr. Castoro retired in the mid-1980s, the couple moved to Skidaway Island in Georgia. They returned to Maryland in 2009, moving to Avondell. When Mr. Castoro died in 2012, the couple had been married for 64 years.

Their mother was a big-time sports fan, Mrs. Castoro’s children wrote. She would spend hours watching tennis, football and basketball, usually rooting for the underdogs. A devoted Baltimore Colts fans, she never forgave the team for moving to Indianapolis — one reason she “rarely had a kind word" to say about their acclaimed quarterback, Peyton Manning. She also had a competitive streak herself, whether playing bridge, mahjong or Wii bowling.

Mrs. Castoro loved a party, according to her children, and when one wasn’t readily available, happy hour would do. Sometimes, her grandchildren would join in, sipping nonalcoholic beverages from fancy glasses while grandma had her martini.

In addition to her children, Mrs. Castoro is survived by four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Their mother did not want a funeral service, her children wrote, adding, “We ask that you honor her by raising a glass or think of her when doing something that makes you smile.”

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