Diana Castellano, ILA Trailblazer and Executive Assistant at International Headquarters For Nearly Six Decades, Passes Away

Diana Castellano, ILA Trailblazer and Executive Assistant at International Headquarters For Nearly Six Decades, Passes Away; One-time President of ILA Local 1809-1 – President Harold Daggett Reflects: “ILA Has Lost Its ‘Princess Diana’”


NORTH BERGEN, NJ  (March 20, 2022) – Diana M. Castellano, an institution at the main headquarters of the International Longshoremen’s Association for 59 years, and who joined the ILA office staff just days after graduation from high school, passed away on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.  She was 77 years old.

“The ILA has lost its own ‘Princess Diana’, a precious and irreplaceable member of our International Executive staff,” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett.  “Her contributions to the growth of our union – as a valuable aide to four International Presidents, and ILA Secretary-Treasurers – helped the ILA move and grow for almost six decades.   Her impact was vast, and her memory will long endure.”

Diana Castellano’s late father, James Castellano, was a long-time member of ILA Local 824, and her late cousin, Vincent DiArchangel, enjoyed a long career with ILA Local 1.

Diana Castellano was the one-time elected President of ILA Local 1809-1, an office workers’ local in New York and New Jersey.  She was one of the first female presidents in the ILA’s long history.  In that role, she was honored to second the nomination of the late John Bowers for re-election as President.   John Bowers was a long-time friend of Diana’s father and the Castellano family.

She is survived by her daughter, Jaime Nicole Havrilla, her son-in-law, Eric of Monroe, New York; two grandchildren, William John, and Vincent James.  Diana is predeceased by her siblings: James Castellano; Noreen Motta and Barbara Castellano.  Her parents were James and Marie Jose (Russo) Castellano.

Diana worked for four International Presidents beginning with Teddy Gleason and continuing with John Bowers, Richard Hughes and current president, Harold J. Daggett.  She worked directly for the International Secretary-Treasurers, including Harry Hasselgran; Walter L. Sullivan, Robert E. Gleason, and Stephen Knott.

She was described by many family members and friends as “a beautiful woman, inside and out.”  As a young woman, Diana Castellano won various beauty pageants and was runner-up in the 1965 Miss New Jersey competition.

“I lost a friend, a colleague and a true sister in Diana Castellano,” said Maria Fong, who worked alongside Diana for 51 years.  “She was extremely intelligent and the success of so many ILA conventions; wage scale meetings and the professionalism running the ILA office, came about because of her leadership and devotion to the ILA.”

Funeral arrangements are as follows:  A Wake will be held at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale, New Jersey (201-767-3050), on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 from 2 pm to 4 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 10 am at St. Anthony’s RC Church, Nanuet, New York with interment to follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Nanuet, New York.

Those who wish may donate in Diana’s memory to the Hi-Tor Animal Care Center: