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L.E. Castle of Jet, Oklahoma was born January 18, 1926 and passed away on September 3, 2017 at 91 years of age. A bigger than life personality, L.E. made a huge difference in the lives of many people through his career as a Vocational Agriculture Teacher, his participation in numerous civic organizations and boards, his church service, his work in the field of agriculture, and his devotion to his family.
L.E. graduated from Jet High School with the class of 1943, and went to Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a degree in Animal Science.
While at OSU, he was a member of Farmhouse Fraternity and was on the undefeated National Champion Meat Judging Team. He also participated in football and wrestling.
He began his career in 1950 as a Vocational Agriculture teacher in Billings. In 1952, he moved to Burlington where he taught for 18 years and was an active community leader. His 1966 Burlington FFA Judging team was the top Livestock Judging team in Kansas City, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa, and was the National Champion Livestock Judging Team. L.E. was Alfalfa County Teacher of the Year, and was President of the Oklahoma State Agriculture Teachers Association.
After leaving his career as a Vocational Agriculture teacher, L.E. and Joan moved to the family farm in Jet and were actively engaged in farming with his brother Richard, nephew Kent, and great-nephew Colton. That part of his life was very special to him as he loved the land and farming and was never happier than when he was in the harvest field or checking cattle.
L.E. and Joan were named Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year in 1986. L.E. was inducted into the Oklahoma Vocational Agriculture Teacher’s Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2007, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame by Governor Brad Henry.
L.E.’s participation in civic and community activities was an important aspect of his life. He assisted in organizing the Burlington Lion’s Club and was a founding member of the Jet Lions Club. He was a member of the Jet-Nash School Board, and a longtime active member of the Jet-Nash Athletic Booster Club. He was president of the Jet Coop Board, the Jet Fair Board, and also helped with Jet Homecoming celebrations. L.E. was proud of his work as a Mason and earned the 32nd Degree.
He was a member of the Federal Land Bank Board of Directors and served as president of the National Federal Land Bank Association for two years. He served on the Alfalfa County Fair Board, Farm Bureau Resolution Committee, and OSU Agriculture Education Scholarship Committee. He was a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers, Oklahoma Swine Growers, and Cattleman’s Association. He also received the FarmHouse Master Builders Award.
His church was a very important part of his life, and he was a long-time member of the Jet United Methodist Church. He taught Sunday School, was President of the Administrative Board, Finance Committee Chairman, Pastor Parish Relations Committee Chairperson, and sang in the choir.
But of most importance in L.E. Castle’s life was his family. He and his late wife Joan VanOsdol Castle were married August 20, 1949. They were the proud parents of four daughters-Christie, Jean, Janet, and Kimberly. Family activities were at the center of L.E.’s life. He celebrated with his family at all holidays and loved having his family come to the Jet home at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Easter, and other times and events. For years, harvest was a family affair. He enjoyed annual family vacations with his children and families, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was very close with all of his family, including his brothers and sisters and his nieces and nephews. His entire family saw him as a source of guidance and inspiration and loved him very much.
He was preceded in death by wife, Joan Castle; parents, Charles and Lois Castle; brother, Vernon Castle; sisters, Vivian Yoder and husband, Eugene, Zola Evans and husband, Duane, and Charlene Bathurst; mother-in-law, Sylvia VanOsdol; sisters-in-law, Carolie Tucker and Bonnie Castle and son-in-law, Jeff Miller.
He is survived by brothers, Elmo Castle and wife, Shirley of Garber, Richard Castle and wife, Cecilia of Jet; brothers-in-law, Elmore Bathurst of Blackwell, brothe and Eddie Bill Tucker of Jet; daughters, Christie Ballard and husband, Keith of Claremore, Jean Tarrant and husband, Doug of Houston Texas, Janet Roper of Austin, Texas and Kimberly Miller of Claremore; grandchildren, Jennifer Potter and husband, Dan, Jeff Tarrant and wife, Samantha, and Julie Tarrant and fiancé, Jonathan Phillips all of Washington DC, Greg Tarrant and wife, Paloma of Nairobi, Kenya, Matthew Ballard and wife, Traci, Michelle Sagely and husband, Michael all of Claremore, Michael Ballard and wife, Fanny of Orebro, Sweden, Jessica Munoz Roper and husband, Arturo Munoz of Houston, Texas, Marcus Roper and fiancée, Natalie Johnson of Austin, Texas, and Tyler Miller of Claremore. He is also survived by great-grandchildren, Abi and Anna Potter, Kizer, Keaton, and Matthijs Ballard, Ely Tarrant, Ashton Andrews, Allie and Emma Sagely, and Astrid and Henry Ballard; numerous nieces and nephews.
While they mourn his loss, his family celebrates a life well-lived. He was truly a Good Man.
The Family prefers memorials in lieu of flowers, and they may be made to Pleasant View Cemetery, Jet Lions Club or OSU Agriculture Education Scholarship Fund. Donations may be made through Lanman Funeral Home, Inc.
Funeral service for L.E. Castle will be Monday, September 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Jet United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery near Jet. Viewing will be on Sunday, September 10, 2017, 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., with family present, at Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. in Cherokee.
Expressions from friends and relatives
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May this tribute bring comforting words and pleasant memories during this difficult time. It
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Lanman Funeral Home Staff
I am sorry to read about your loss.....our loss.
Mr. Castle offered me sound advice at an FFA camp in the Osage Hills when I was a freshman, and I always knew after that he genuinely cared about my outcome even though I was from a different chapter. Our livestock judging team aspired to be as successful as his. I always admired and respected him, and I will always remember him. Indeed, he WAS a GOOD MAN.
Our thoughts and prayers to your families at the loss of L. E. Many fond Castle memories.
AK, Shirley Armstrong
Please accept my families heartfelt condolences for your loss. I was fortunate to have known L.E. while he was a teacher and was able to observe the huge impact he had on his students, his community, and the many people he influenced in such a positive manner. L.E. is one of a few people whose had a commanding presence and a born leader. He inspired and led people to achieve more than they thought possible. The loss of L.E. is significant but his contributions will be forever lasting. Prayers to his family and friends.
Gene Sweatt & Family
L.E. touched many lives, mine included. He was my vocational agriculture teacher at Burlington. Had many learning and fun times with L.E. at Burlington and at many livestock shows.
William Van Vliete
Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
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