Getting Our Priorities Straight: Town Says Goodbye To Young Man, Despite Quarantine


If you happened to be driving through the town of Carnegie, just west of Pittsburgh Tuesday morning you may have found yourself jammed up in traffic. Wait. What? A traffic jam?

That’s right… a traffic jam. These days, coronavirus days, no one’s at work so no one’s on the road… unless you were in Carnegie Tuesday. The parade of cars and people… jammed up for blocks… was there to celebrate the life of Timmy Castello. The 27 year old died April 8th after a year long battle with a rare form of cancer.

Cars packed the parking lot of the funeral home, then spilled into the streets for a procession that was more important than usual.

Timmy’s cousin and my dear friend Natalie Iozzo wrote:

“Marty. I Have a good heartwarming story I want to share. My cousin Timmy died of cancer this week. Because of COVID-19 we could not give him a proper celebration of life. Instead over 100 cars had a funeral procession past the funeral home in Carnegie today.”

Natalie described her cousin as “vibrant. A true family man. He truly lived life to the fullest.” Natalie also described her frustration saying: “Marty. If beer distributors are open. Landscapers can work. We can’t spread out through a Church to have a proper mass for a young soul lost. You’re allowed to pack into North Park to exercise but you’re not allowed to stand at a grave site. His parents, sister, and fiancée had to stay in the car. Why Marty? Why?”

Timmy’s cousin took this photo across the street from the cemetery, where his family had to stand for his burial.

Natalie sent me pictures of how far family had to stand away from the burial site. She sent videos of the funeral procession, where people stood on porches and watched the hearse go by:

She sent a poignant video of Timmy playing guitar. “He brought his music and his joy everywhere he went. He never complained about his cancer. His smile made a difference in every room he entered.”

Timmy brought his music and joy everywhere he went.

Timmy Castello made a difference. Here at Sparkt we pay him homage. We try go make a difference each day. We celebrate his life and honor his death along with his family during these increasingly difficult times.

And leave you with a video of what Timmy Castello loved most… singing:

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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