In Memory

Enzo Castelli

Enzo Castelli

Date of death:  August, 2010

Cause of death:  Lung cancer leading to fatal hemorrhage

Residence at time of death:  Highland Park

Profession:  General manager of plastics company

Family:  Wife Dr. Ann Chodzko; Four children, John, James, Nicholas, Francesca; mother, Rina; sister, Laura

Enzo's Life:   Consider for a moment how intimidating it must have been to walk into HPHS in the 1950's just three years after arriving in America from a foreign country.  You would instinctively know -- as kids do -- that you were in a building full of self-confident super-achievers.  And your skills in English and U.S. customs were still developing.   Scary.

They were called the "boaters" by the other Highwood kids because they had recently emigrated from their native Italy.   It wasn't meant as a term of derision, just a way to explain why their English was a bit choppy, and why they played soccer, a game American youngsters had yet to discover.

Enzo, who arrived in Highwood in 1952, was one of the smartest, hardest working and nicest of the boaters, and remained that way throughout his life.  Born in Modena, the same province where the iconic Ferrari automobile was built, Enzo had a passion for auto mechanics that would also endure.

Soon after settling in Highwood, Enzo went to work in his father's car repair shop, A and J Citroen, located just east of the Nite-'n-Gale restaurant on Waukegan Road.  Word quickly got around that the kid was a master at diagnosing and fixing problems in sophisticated sports cars.  Many of the well-to-do owners of Maseratis, Alfa Romeos and Corvettes up and down the North Shore would come to Enzo's shop to enlist his expertise.   His specialty, naturally, was Ferraris, cars that were expensive, high performance and touchy.  They needed a perfectionist at the human end of the wrench, and Enzo qualified in spades, even traveling to Italy to study at the Ferrari factory.

Eventually, Enzo moved from the car repair business to the plastics business, but cars remained his main hobby.  For years, Enzo helped his friend Albert Fontanini prepare high speed drag racing cars, which Albert raced with great success at strips around the country until he was killed in a freak highway accident.   Enzo also owned a series of Chevy Corvettes, and his friend Bruce Bertucci remembers that he lavished so much attention on each that the cars were "beautiful."  .

Enzo also enjoyed riding his motorcycle and playing golf.   The last two years of his life were somewhat darkened by a fight against lung cancer, but his death was still sudden and unexpected.  His friend Bruce Bertucci declared, "Enzo was one of the finest men I have had the honor of knowing.  He will be missed."  The large crowd of mourners at his wake and funeral, including many of Highwood's most respected community leaders, would agree.