Raymond Joseph CastellanoMarch 3, 1933 ~ January 27, 2017 (age 83)
Raymond J. Castellano, 83, of Milltown, Wisconsin passed away in the early hours on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Good Samaritan Home in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin with his loving family at his side.
Raymond Joseph Castellano was born on March 3, 1933 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Joseph and Marie Castellano. Raymond was raised in Bovey/Taconite, Minnesota and graduated from Greenway High School class of 1951. He enjoyed all types of skiing and was a state competitor with the longest jump in the ski-jumping competition. After high school, Ray worked in the iron ore mines of northern Minnesota prior to enlisting in the US Air Force (1954-1957). While stationed at Mitchel Air Force Base in New York, he was a Flight Engineer and was assigned to escort a high-ranking military General. During that time he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. He was a member of the US Air Force track and field team where he was a pole-vaulter. In 1955, Ray married Priscilla MacKnight, from Long Island, New York and has been married to his dear “Mickey” for the past 61 years. After completing his tour of duty in the Air Force, he returned to working in the iron ore mines for a short time as his father convinced him to get a formal education. Ray enrolled at St. Cloud State in 1958 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1961. Ray loved to shoot archery and won the Minnesota State Archery competition with his long-bow in 1958.
Raymond began teaching at Unity High School in 1962 and continued for 30 years before retiring in 1992. Raymond “Mr. C” very much enjoyed his time in the classroom with his students and making a positive difference for each of them. His philosophy was "you don't have to be the best, but you need to give it your best". During his tenure, he was the “golden voice” of Unity athletics for 22 years; Baseball coach; Pole vault coach; Ski club advisor; “Ring Leader” of the Unity Circus; and Unity Education Association President. He took great pride contributing to the future of the kids and the district. In 1997, Ray was inducted to the Unity “Wall of Honor”.
Ray always enjoyed volunteering his time and talents to the school, community and civic organizations. He was the Milltown Commercial Club President; Snowmobile safety instructor; Hunter safety instructor; Cub Scout advisor; Commercial sign painter; and an active member of the American Legion Post 257.
Ray very much enjoyed his retirement, retreating to his cabin on the Namekagon River as often as possible with his family and buddies. His little slice of heaven on earth was the time spent at his cabin with his friends, kids and grandkids.
Ray enjoyed the outdoors whether it was camping, hunting, fishing, making wood or sitting by a fire. His most favorite times spent at the cabin would be deer hunting, sharp-tail grouse hunting and the fishing opener. Earlier days he would enjoy throwing horseshoes on the river sand-bar, floating the river, snowmobile trail riding and back-country skiing with his wife Mickey, family and friends. All through the years, there wasn't a kid's or grandkid's event he didn't attend as this brought him much joy and pride.
Ray leaves to celebrate his memory: wife, Priscilla “Mickey” Castellano, Milltown, WI; children: Joe (Cindy) Castellano, Milltown, WI; John (Julie) Castellano, Boston, MA; Linda (Gary) Griner, Minneapolis, MN and James (Debora) Castellano, Marshfield, WI; grandchildren: Stephanie (Nick) Johnson, Eric (Jenny) Castellano, Josh (Jessica) Cramlet, Tucker (Amber) Cramlet, Jennifer Castellano, Janna (Adam) Miron, Buddy (Kathleen) Castellano, Benjamin (Lora) Ellingson, Arin (Marissa) Ellingson, Marisa Griner, Christian Castellano, Isaac Castellano and Hannah Castellano also many great grandchildren, his sister, Jeanette (Gene) Garner and many nieces, nephews and other loving family and friends.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 11:00 A.M. at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in Balsam Lake. Ray’s family will greet visitors at Our Lady of the Lakes on Friday, February 3, 2017 from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. and again on Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until the time of service. Following the Memorial Mass the family invites their guests to join them for lunch and fellowship in the church dining hall.
Ray will be laid to rest at the Milltown Cemetery in the spring with full military honors. Honorary Pallbearers will be his grandchildren.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS MEMORIALS CAN BE SENT TO: CASTELLANO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND, P.O. BOX 52, MILLTOWN, WI 54858. Memorials will be used to establish a scholarship in Ray's name.
The Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Centuria has been entrusted with arrangements.