Alphis “Ralph” age 87, and Norma J. age 84, Casteel passed away May 8, 2018, in Taylor, Nebraska due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Ralph and Norma resided in Sargent, Nebraska.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 14, 2018, at 2:00 PM in the Berean Bible Church in Broken Bow, Nebraska with Pastor Tyce Jensen officiating. Burial will be in the Westerville Cemetery in Westerville, Nebraska. Memorials for Ralph and Norma may be made to WANA Tribal Bible. Visitation will be Sunday, May 13, 2018, from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow, Nebraska. Govier Brothers are in charge of the arrangements for Ralph and Norma. Online condolences can be left at www.govierbrothers.com.
Our Dad, Ralph Casteel was born to Jesse and Florence Casteel, of Westerville, Nebraska on April 27, 1931. Dad was raised on the family farm 2 ½ miles east of Westerville. He attended both grade school and high school in Westerville, graduating from high school in 1948. He continued working on the family farm and during that time joined the national guard. He figured there had to be a better life than the bivouac training out in the rain, so along with some other friends joined the Navy in 1951. Later that year on December 27 he was married to our mom, Norma Kaelin. During his time in the Navy, he spent a lot of time on the aircraft carrier “USS Philippine Sea” going to Japan, Philippines, and serving off the coast of Korea during the Korean War. After the Navy, he returned to farming in the Westerville area. Dad accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1965. In 1967 he and mom entered missionary training with New Tribes Mission and then served for two years with our Mission Aviation Program. After missionary work, they went back to the farm and farmed until retirement in 1995. Dad enjoyed farming so after retirement continued working for different farmers in the area until 2016. One of Dad’s favorite hobbies was going camping and fishing. He was also good at carpentry and doing mechanical work. Most of all he was just great at being a dad to us.
Our Mom, Norma Casteel, was born to Louis and Elma Kaelin of Ansley, Nebraska on September 7, 1933. She was also raised on the farm and her family farmed in the Ansley area. She attended country grade school and then attended high school in Ansley where she graduated in 1951. After graduation, she attended Kearney State Teachers college and then taught country grade school in the Westerville area for a couple of years. She was the perfect farmers’ wife and enjoyed cooking and homemaking. Their first child was Ed, who was born in 1953, and then their second child Shari was born in 1956. Mom accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior in 1961 and made sure that we kids attended Sunday school and all the vacation Bible schools which were held in Westerville. Along with the cooking, mom enjoyed hosting big family meals out at the farm which we all looked forward to. She also enjoyed our family fishing trips and catching White Bass. Mom enjoyed being around people and visiting with them. If ever we needed to the know the name of someone mom was the one to ask. Most of all she was just a great mom making sure all our needs were met.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents, and only sibling Patricia Collins. Mom was also preceded in death by her parents, her brother Richard Kaelin and his wife Deloris, brother Donald Kaelin, brother Roland Kaelin, and brother Max Kaelin.
Ralph and Norma are survived by son Ed (Jeanne) Casteel of Litchfield, Nebraska, daughter Shari (Jack) McCallum of Carrollton, Texas and a grandson Geoff (Tina) Casteel of Peru, South America. Mom’s sisters-in-law Deloris Kaelin and Phylis Kaelin, along with many nieces and nephews.