Ruth Allen Castelli died peacefully at home in Mansfield Center on Oct. 11 at the age of 93. Her daughter, Lynn, son in law Mike and toy poodle Lilli cared for her during her final days, enabling her to fulfill her wish to leave this earthly life in the manner she desired.

Ruth was born in New York city on Sept. 3, 1919. Her father, Thomas Louis Allen, was a tenor for the Metropolitan Opera and her mother, Dr. Ida Bailey Allen, was a noted food authority, columnist, author and broadcaster. Ruth’s father died when she was an infant. She was later adopted when her mother married William Brewster Chapman.

Ruth attended secondary school at Blackstone College for Girls in Virginia and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 with an honors degree in English. It was while working in publishing for Pocket Books that she met the love of her life, Alberto (Nick) Castelli, an Argentine national sent to New York to study the infant paperback publishing industry. After marrying in Hollywood, Ruth and Nick lived in Brazil and Argentina, where their two daughters were born: Diane Allen Castelli and Mariana (Marian) Lynn Castelli.  

Ruth and Nick eventually returned to the U.S. and settled in Westport, Conn., living on Compo Beach for 24 years. During this period, Ruth worked for Bruce Payne Associates and lawyer/author Norman W. Schur. In addition, she held the position of instructor for both Famous Writers School and the Institute of Children’s Literature.

After retiring to Martha’s Vineyard, Ruth turned to writing poetry, publishing her poems in the Vineyard Gazette. These and other poems were published in a collection entitled Full Circle Round in 2009. After the death of her beloved Nick in 2006, she moved to Mansfield to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

Ruth was predeceased by her brother, Thomas Louis Allen Jr. and her grandson, Nicholas Allen Spano, a victim of mucopolysaccharidosis. She is survived by her daughters, Diane and Lynn Castelli, her son in law, Michael South, her granddaughters, Vivian N. Castelli and Samantha L. Spano, and her great granddaughter, Lily Helphinstine, in addition to a niece and nephew and their children.

Her family extends their deepest gratitude to Hospice of VNA East. Memorial donations may be sent to The National MPS Society, P.O. Box 14686, Durham, NC 27709-4686. There are no calling hours or services. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. For online memorial guest book please visit