Arthur Worrells Castetter left this earth to play music with the angels on July 21, 2014. Born on April 7, 1931 to Arthur and Eloise Castetter in Streator, Illinois, music soon became the passion of his life. He could play any musical instrument, remember any piece of music he read, and soon started teaching children accordion and piano. As he entered adulthood he was called to serve his country in the Korean War as a medical technician in a MASH unit. He would tell anyone he was quite certain the TV show was loosely based on his unit. Even in Korea he used his musical talents to play with USO tours and various performers visiting the troops. After his discharge, he returned to the study of music at various colleges, ultimately receiving a Master's Degree from the prestigious American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. Thereafter he performed, composed and taught music until the last months of his life.
On September 18, 1955 he married the love of his life, Shirley Richardson with whom he spent the next 58 years. During his lifetime he composed numerous pieces of music, performed with jazz and swing groups such as the Dukes of Swing, and directed numerous award winning musical groups. He was especially proud of creating an entire Music Department for Highland Community College where he was the Chairman of the Department for over a decade and teaching students at Angelina College, Howard College and Austin Community College. His students have performed on Broadway and professionally across the nation.
He was predeceased by his parents and very recently his sister, Marilyn Castetter.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; his three children and their spouses, Alan and Mary Castetter of Austin, Susan and Stewart Tankersley of Azle, and Alex and Teresa Castetter of Nacogdoches as well as grandchildren, Jeff Tankersley, Ashlee and Robert Bennett, Angela Tankersley, Carly and Zachary Barton, Noah Castetter, Daniel Castetter; and great grandson, Jackson Bennett.
A celebration of his life and his music will be held at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, August 7, 2014 in the Chapel of Cook Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home.
Condolences may be made online by visiting www.cookwaldenforestoaks.com.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Aug. 3 to Aug. 4, 2014