This Rotarian met his future wife at the one yard line!
Updated: Mar 7
Steve Castellucci shared how he met his wife of 39 years, Linda. Steve was a member of the marching band at Mountain Lakes, NJ High School. If you have ever been to a high school or college football game, you know that the marching band lines up in the end zone before performing at half time. It is in this “zone” that Steve (a trumpet player), met his future wife Linda(a baton twirler). Steve was introduced to Linda by his good friend and fellow band member. Life is a matter of coincidences and serendipity, and this meeting of two high school students would eventually lead to matrimony is made for a Hollywood movie.
Before we fast forward to life with Steve and Linda today, let’s start at the beginning. Steve was born in Englewood, NJ and his family eventually moved to Morris County (Mountain Lakes) where his dad was policeman and his mom was a school teacher. This is where Steve saw the example of “Service Above Self” early on, with both his mom and dad giving back to their communities not only through their vocations but also by their actively volunteering in town. Steve’s dad was also an active Rotarian.
Steve went to Villanova and Linda attended Montclair State. After remaining friends through high school and in college, the two eventually realized that you can marry your best friend. They wed in 1982. By 1985, Steve was working in Paramus, where he met Rotarian Frank Purdy who helped him join the Paramus AM Rotary Club. This set in play one of the longest commutes by a member of Ridgewood AM Rotary Club. When asked why the long distance association, Steve maintained that “membership in Rotary, specifically Ridgewood AM Rotary, is worth the trip from anywhere. Beyond the great work that Rotary does worldwide; the spirit and commitment of the Ridgewood AM Club members to the community, and to each other, is second to none. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with such dedicated, caring people.”
Steve and Linda have two grown children; a son in California and a daughter New Jersey. Steve’s son is in the music business and his daughter is pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy. It seems that Steve’s son got the music gene from Steve’s early years as a trumpet player and Linda’s work as a vocalist. One of Steve’s fondest memories is when his family participated in program for young musicians through the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The whole family would go in to New York City where they had the good fortune to attend the program conducted by Wynton Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. There, the youngsters and their families had the opportunity to visit Wynton in the green room after the programs. Steve’s son still has the autographed picture of Wynton Marsalis and himself, playing “a duet” together in the green room. Marsalis’ warmth and genuine interest in all the young musicians contributed to his son’s continued interest in music not only for personal enjoyment but even as a career choice. To this day it remains a truly memorable experience for the whole family.
Steve and his family have continued their pledge to give back to their communities in Morris and Bergen counties and our club is thankful that Steve makes the 40 minute commute to Ridgewood AM Rotary Club meetings and service projects.