The Casteel family has lost our matriarch, our heart and soul, and friend to all. Lois, 91, was born on May 16, 1927 in Coudersport, PA, to Clair Manning Reed and Ruth Kidney Reed. She was the middle of five children, Arnold, Ardath, Lois, Donald, and Roger. Lois rejoins the love of her life and husband of 50 years, William McNeil Casteel, who preceded her in death.
Lois excelled in school, and graduated Salutatorian of her high school class. With a fearless spirit, she boarded a train after high school to Chicago to attend X-Ray technician school with only two suitcases in hand, and a plan to find an apartment when she got there. After completing her training, Lois moved to Pittsburg, where she met Bill, who was attending Univ of Pittsburg. Lois and Bill were married February 7, 1953, in Uniontown, PA.
Lois continued her early career as an X-ray Technician, until she became a mother and turned her attention to raising their five children, Reed Casteel of Saratoga, Neal Casteel (wife Betsy, children Kelly and Kristen) of San Jose, Caroline Viscuso (husband John, children Jeremy, Jenna, Julie and Katie) of Dublin, Mark Casteel (wife Nancy, children Julie and Diana) of Fortuna, and Catherine Casteel (Frank) of Oakland.
The Casteels moved to Saratoga in 1963, where Lois became a homemaker extraordinaire. Taking full advantage of the orchards that surrounded the family home, Lois sent her children out to pick apricots, prunes, and walnuts. From the local bounty, she made jams, canned fruit, and dried apricots every summer. She paneled the family room, painted the house in and out, installed the dishwasher, and helped as assistant mechanic with the family’s many cars. Lois sewed the children’s clothes and crocheted yo-yo quilts. She enjoyed gardening, especially maintaining her extensive rose garden. Lois loved the outdoors and was the quartermaster for the family’s summer backpacking expeditions in the Sierras. Later, she was Bill’s support team on his many marathon races until she began her own running career.
Mom, you gave so much and asked for so little in return. Thank you for teaching, listening, helping and forgiving, loving us, and always paving the way. We will strive to reach the standards you set. Farewell sweet mom, you were simply magnificent!
Services for Lois will be held at Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills, Los Gatos on Saturday, September 8 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Lois Casteel can be made to the American Red Cross.
Charitable donations may be made to:
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines IA 50340