Obit: Castle, Raymond H. (1933 - 2007)

Contact: Audrey Roedl


----Sources: Loyal TRG 04 April 2007

Castle, Raymond H. (14 MAR 1933 - 18 MAR 2007)

Raymond H. Castle, 74, Bemidji, Minn., died from a drug resistant blood infection during his recovery from open heart surgery on Sunday, March 18, 2007, at the Merit Care Hospital, Fargo, N. D.

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, at the Tenstrike Community Church, Tenstrike, Minn., with Rev. Patrick Spicer officiating. Full military honors were provided by American Legion Gracie Post #14, Bemidji. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji, at a later date. Active pallbearers we

Re: Karlie Castle, Douglas Castle, Matthew Castle, Karl Johnson, Lee Johnson, and Alex Gillie. Honorary pallbearers were Darwin Jacobs, Ron Johnson, Mickey Winger, Frank Fowler, Al Kendall, Henry Souder, Larry Castle, Larry Leeper, Gene Leeper, Denis Black, Steve Baltes, Jerry Hackett, George Mitchell, Denny Davis, and all his friends from Castle Highlands Golf Course.

Raymond Henry Castle was born on March 14, 1933 in Buffalo, Minn., to John W. and Harriet A. (Varner) Castle. He graduated from Wayzata High School in 1951. He participated in track and field, running the mile, setting a regional record in 1950. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army on his 18th birthday. He served during the Korean Conflict and attained the rank of private first class. He was awarded a Korean Service Ribbon with four Bronze Campaign Stars, the National Defense and the United Nations Service medals. He was honorably discharged in March 1954. After his discharge, he worked during the summer as a janitor at the Forest Inn, Itasca State Park. It was there that he met a waitress working at Douglas Lodge who would be his future wife. He then worked at Spring Park Hardware in Spring Park, Minn. He married Dorothy Jean Gillie on Jan. 15, 1956, at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Williams, Minn. After their marriage, he attended Traffic Management School and the Mohler Barber College in Minneapolis, Minn. They moved to Bemidji and he worked as an apprentice barber for Minor Bakke in downtown Bemidji. After earning his master barbers license, he owned and operated his own barber shop, and during his career as a barber, he had various locations in Bemidji. He lived in rural Bemidji on the Turtle River raising beef cattle for a number of years. In 1969, he began construction of the Castle Highlands nine-hole golf course on his property. He opened the course to the public in 1970. He then immediately started construction of an additional nine holes which was completed in 1975. He later added a championship driving range. He realized his dream, and his vision was achieved with the help of his wife, two sons, and many friends. After 20 years as pro/owner, he sold the golf course and retired to Turtle River Lake. After retirement he could pursue his other passionshunting, fishing, trapping, Photography, painting, sculpture, woodworking, and he became accomplished stained glass artist. He loved sharing stories of his adventures and diverse life experiences always with properly-used embellishment. He loved to cook, developing many of his own recipes. Over the course of his lifetime, he was a member of the Bemidji JayCees, Bemidji Elks Club, American Legion Post #14 of Bemidji, Bemidji Curling Club, Bemidji Town and Country, Blackduck Golf Course, the National Rifle Association, and Was a lifetime member of the Castle Highlands Golf Course.

Survivors include his wife, Jean, Bemidji; two sons, Kurt (Linda) Castle, Greenwood, Wis., and Brad (Renae) Castle, Pinewood, Minn.; four grandchildren; one great-grandson; siblings, Julia (Gene) Davis, Laporte, Minn., John (Deb) Johnson, Buffalo, Minn., Patricia Johnson, Portland, Ore., Jack (Vi) Castle, Butte, Mont., and Roger Castle, Butte, Mont.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and his stepfather, Carl J. R. Johnson.

Memorials are preferred to Lakeland Public Television. Ray and Jean Castle Endowment.

Messages of condolence may be sent to

Cease Family Funeral Home, Blackduck, Minn., assisted the family with arrangements.



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