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Joseph J. Castiglia, 83, Pratt & Lambert president helped establish Catholic Health

Joseph J. Castiglia

When Bishop Henry Mansell wanted to unite the Catholic health care facilities in the Buffalo area 20 years ago, he turned to Joseph J. Castiglia.

Mr. Castiglia was active in Catholic Charities, he had been president and chief executive officer of Pratt & Lambert Inc. and, from 1992 to 1997, he was a director and chairman of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Named the first chairman of the board of directors of Catholic Health by Bishop Mansell in 1998, he led the integration of the Catholic hospitals and nursing homes into a comprehensive network.

“He was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the formation of our system,” Catholic Health president and CEO Joseph D. McDonald said. “Jerry led our organization through the complex process of becoming an integrated health care system. He thoughtfully analyzed complex challenges, brought people together and identified strong strategic direction for our system.”

Mr. Castiglia died Tuesday in Mercy Hospital after a short illness. He was 83.

Born Joseph Jerry Castiglia on July 20, 1934, in North Collins and known to all by his middle name, he was a graduate of North Collins High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Canisius College in 1955.

A member of ROTC at Canisius, he went on to serve in the Army as a captain with a tank unit in Germany.

He became a certified public accountant, worked for 10 years with the accounting firm Deloitte Haskins & Sells, then came to Pratt & Lambert in 1967 as treasurer.

He became vice president for finance two years later and executive vice president in 1977. Named president and chief operating officer in 1982, he was promoted to president and CEO in 1989.

He led the acquisition of United Coatings in 1994, creating Pratt & Lambert United, and retired in 1996 after the sale of the company to the Sherwin-Williams Co., which shut down the offices and production facilities here.

Mr. Castiglia was appointed to the board of the Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1991 and served as chairman from 1993 to 1997.

After stepping down from Catholic Health in 2003, he was an independent business consultant and investor. He also continued to be active in civic and charitable organizations.

“It was his passion,” his wife Barbara said. “He really loved being involved with the community.”

He was former chairman of the Board of Trustees at Canisius College and a past president of the college’s Alumni Association. He also was a chairman of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the AAA of Western and Central New York and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

He served as president of the Buffalo Club, the Nichols School Board, the MTB Group of Funds, the Wilmington Funds and the Nova Paint Club. He was a former member of the boards of trustees of Sisters Hospital, the Sisters of Charity Hospital Foundation and the Health Care Industries Association.

He served on the boards of the Buffalo and Erie County YMCA, the Studio Arena Theatre, the National Federation for Just Communities, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Read to Succeed, the Roycroft Campus Corp., Christ the King Seminary and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation.

He also was a board member of the Business Council of New York State; the National Paint and Coatings Association; the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association, where he served as president; Paint Research Associates; Niagara Thermal Products; Sevenson Environmental Services Inc.; Energy East Corp.; Dunn Tire Corp. and the Vision Group of Funds.

Active in fundraising, he was honorary chairman of the Canisius College Comprehensive Capital Campaign, vice chairman of the Catholic Charities Appeal in 1998 and associate chairman of the United Way Campaign in 1993.

He received numerous honors for his work, including a doctor of humane letters degree in 1994 from Canisius College, the Cure of Ars Service Award from Christ the King Seminary, the Frederick Law Olmsted Award, the Health Association of New York State Leadership Award, the Healthcare Trustees of New York State Leadership and Advocacy Award, the National Federation for Just Communities Award and Paint and Coatings Industry Statesman Awards.

An avid traveler, he visited India, China, Egypt, Israel and Greece.

He and the former Barbara Jakubowski, a teacher and school librarian, would have been married 56 years on Saturday. Residents of West Falls, they enjoyed skiing and boating.

Survivors also include a son, Dr. Gregory J.; a daughter, Wendy K. Castiglia Amato; a sister, Mae Jeswald; and five grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 in Christ the King Seminary, 711 Knox Road, East Aurora.

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