Gayle (Levin) Kastenbaum
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Gayle (Levin) Kastenbaum, age 72, of Reading died peacefully at home on Saturday, February 15, 2020. Gayle was born in 1947 in Miami to Irene (Banks) Levin and Leon Levin. Gayle grew up in the greater Philadelphia area where she attended Lower Merion High School, lettering in several sports and serving as the informal chauffeur and bookkeeper to her family’s business in fresh produce and banana wholesales, M. Levin & Company.
Gayle attended the University of Pennsylvania, becoming the President of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, and Temple University for her Master’s in Reading Education.
While teaching Reading in Southern New Jersey, Gayle met her husband of 48 years, Dr. Michael Kastenbaum, through mutual friends at a mixer for the Philadelphia County Medical Society. They moved to Reading to continue their careers, with Gayle serving as reading teacher at the Reading School District.
Gayle put her career on hold to fulfill her lifelong dream of raising a family. Dedicated to her family, Gayle was involved in the programs her children enjoyed, including Girl and Boy Scouts, religious school, and extracurricular activities at the Governor Mifflin School District. As her children grew, Gayle actively participated in the Garden Club of Reading and Penn State’s Master Gardener’s group as well as took on increasing leadership roles at Kesher Zion Synagogue, the Reading Chapter of the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) support group, and the Schuylkill Valley and Governor Mifflin school districts. Gayle was often the first to arrive and the last to leave any function; as President of her Synagogue, she did not hesitate to get her hands dirty…trimming the hedges, repairing a historic HVAC system, or cutting down the occasional tree.
Gayle was an avid traveler and ‘road tripper’ – taking her family on trips across the US and the world, most notably saying she “wanted to read a few books” wherever she was going. She maintained ever-growing photo albums and kept travel journals, with grammatically perfect descriptions of each day’s events.
Gayle remained dedicated to expanding her intellect; she actively read at least two daily newspapers and three periodicals, as well as took courses through Gratz College, Penn State Berks, and the World Affairs Council.
Gayle is survived by her husband and four children: Joshua Kastenbaum of Reading, Dr. Hannah Kastenbaum of Philadelphia, Kate Holsapple and husband, Kevin Holsapple, of San Francisco, and Isaac Kastenbaum and wife, Allison Mansueto, of New York City. Gayle was loved for her wit, resilience, and generosity; she will be remembered for her limitless commitment to her large, extended family, her community, her children’s pets, and her gardens.
Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, February 18th at 1PM at Kesher Zion Synagogue at 555 Warwick Drive in Wyomissing. Burial will follow at the Kesher Zion Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kesher Zion Synagogue or The Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Henninger Funeral Home, Inc is in charge of arrangements. Please leave condolences online at www.henningerfuneralhome.com