James R. Castle

Contributor:
Terrell Shoultes

Transcribed from: BINGHAMTON PRESS AND SUN BULLETIN May 9, 2003


Obituary - James R. Castle

James R. Castle, 76, of Endicott, N.Y., went to sleep in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 7, 2003 after a two year bout with lung cancer. Jim graduated from Vestal High School in 1944 at the age of 17, and he served in the US Army from 1945 to 1946. He was the last surviving member of the founding generation of the Castle Gardens Greenhouse business in Vestal, N.Y. He was predeceased by his father, Ward B.; mother, Lela; sister, Mary; and brothers, William and George. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Carolyn J. Liles; son, David Lee and wife Kathy (Schneider); daughter, Karen (Castle) Weinkle; grandchildren, Kaycee L. Weinkle, Kanen J. Weinkle, Lindsey A. Castle; great-grandson, Jonathan T. Weinkle; niece, Patricia (Castle) Wilson; nephews, Stephen Castle, Charles Castle; and several; nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. James was an active member of Calvary Baptist Tabernacle, Vestal, where he served as a Deacon, was a choir member, Sunday School teacher and worker with the AWANA youth program. He truly had a servants heart and helped many people with various construction/missions projects in Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Indiana, Kentucky and New York.

Funeral and interment services will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. from the Coleman & Daniels Funeral Home, Inc., 765 Main St., Vestal. The Rev. David Parsons will officiate. Burial will be in Vestal Park Cemetery at the convenience of the family. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 1 p.m. until service time at 4 p.m. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to the Hospice Program, c/o Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, 169 Riverside Dr., Binghamton, N.Y. 13905.

Once again, it is with great sorrow that I report the death of James Robert Castle of Vestal (Broome County), New York. He was better known as Uncle Jim to my family and his death follows the passing of another cherished uncle, Harold Thomas Faucett, who passed away only 8 days ago.

My father called around 5PM with the news that Uncle Jim has passed away peacefully at his home in Endicott, New York. Uncle Jim had been diagnosed with mesothelioma back in 2001 and had surgery at the Duke Medical Center at Durham, North Carolina. The surgery was successful and he enjoyed a recovery and a restored standard of life. It was during December of 2002 that he returned to Durham for more surgery. This time, his recovery was very labored. He returned to his home in Endicott and declined the chemo therapy.

James Robert Castle was born on December 31, 1926 in the back seat of a 1923 Model T Ford during a raging snow storm. He was the son of Ward B. Castle (14Sep1887-10Mar1963) and Lela Wilbur (1887-1978). He grew up near the village of Vestal, New York and graduated from Vestal High School in 1944 and joined the U.S. Army shortly thereafter. He was discharged when the war ended.

He was a partner in the family truck farm business known as Ward B. Castle & Sons. It was known in the area as Castle Gardens and the old Route 17 roadway bears the name Castle Gardens Road to this day. He married the former Carolyn Juanita Liles of Houston (Harris County), Texas on December 25, 1953 at the old Castle Gardens homestead. Carolyn Juanita Liles was born on June 4, 1928, the daughter of Louis Richard Liles (11Feb1902-27Jun1955) and Gladys Francis Rawley (24Jun1905-26May1943). They established their home along Castle Gardens Road where they lived until the farm enterprise was sold in 1980. They have since lived in Lake Worth, Florida and their present residence at Endicott, New York.

I first remember Jim Castle coming to our home when he began to date Aunt Carolyn. Aunt Carolyn is the sister of my late mother and came to live with us in the early 1950s in Vestal. Jim was much taller than most of my Shoultes uncles and my brother and I enjoyed having him pick us up over his head. He drove a green 1949 Plymouth convertible and their home became a favorite place for my brother and me to visit. My parents were regular customers at Castle Gardens and they had some of the best summer vegetables that I have ever enjoyed. The sweet corn was their specialty and it was always a real treat. When I visited Uncle Jim and Aunt Carolyn during my college days, I always took a cooler of sweet corn back to Miami.

Uncle Jim was a devout Christian and a wonderful role model for us. He had a great voice and would cheerfully volunteer to sing at church during their visits to Atlanta and Miami during the 1960s and 1970s. He was a hard worker who provided well for his family. He was honored and respected by all who knew him and he will be missed.

My trip to attend the BERNE HERITAGE FESTIVAL in August of 2002 must have been a blessing. On my way to participate, I was able to visit with Uncle Jim Castle and my late Uncle Hal Faucett. Although I knew they were getting up in years, I never thought it would happen this way. There is always an expectation that it would happen, BUT YOU NEVER THINK IT WOULD HAPPEN TODAY. I am sure that Uncle Jim would tell me that everyone needs to be prepared. I am confident that he is in a better place and free from the pains of life. I look forward to joining him someday and my first words to him may be, “pick me up!”

May God grant his blessing on Uncle Jim’s family in this time of need. If members of the family wish to contact them, their address is:

The Family of James Castle

326 Cypress Lane

Endicott, New York 13860

(607) 785-9948


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