Kill Devil Hills pays tribute to town’s ‘Santa Claus’

By on November 14, 2018

Castellow played Santa Claus for more than 20 years. (Submitted photo)

The Town of Kill Devil Hills is paying tribute to its very own Santa Claus – Fred Castellow.

Castellow, 84, died of cancer Nov. 7 after decades serving the town as a commissioner, volunteer with the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department, founding member of the Duck Fire Department and, perhaps most importantly, Santa Claus.

His involvement in the town began as a regular at Board of Commissioner’s meetings, leading him to a term on the board in the 1990s, where he was lovingly referred to as “Commissioner No.”

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After serving on the board, he began volunteering with the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department.

“… It was through the Fire Auxiliary and the Fire Support Group that his service to our community developed a deeper, more personal commitment,” the town said in a statement. “Assisting our fire department and the firefighters he loved was of paramount importance to Fred. As a first responder, he was always willing to contribute his time and abilities in the event of any emergency.”

Castellow coordinated and participated in relief efforts for individuals, families, the Kill Devil Hills community, and others who needed help, including hurricane victims in other areas of North Carolina.

His most treasured role, however, was becoming Santa Claus more than 20 years ago.

“No one brings more hope and joy, and the smiles and laughter on the faces of so many children gave Fred a warmth inside that, every Christmas season, was shared with each person he saw,” the town said. “Nursing homes, churches, children’s events, and visits to the home-bound were included in his rounds each year, along with parade appearances. During the Christmas season Santa never stopped.

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It’s a tradition Castellow began when his children were little, and he later shared with the community. He was a yearly fixture at Poulos’ Christmas House as well as on the Candy Bomber.

“The kindness and compassion he radiated will be forever cherished by countless children and families,” the town wrote.

Castellow’s family will receive friends and relatives for a viewing on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 5-7 p.m. at Twiford Colony Chapel, Manteo. A funeral with military honors will be held on Friday, Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. at Kill Devil Hills Fire Department, Station 14 with Pastor Steve Siegrist officiating.

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In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or online at www.cancer.org.

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