William Kastler Sr. (1919 - 2018)

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With family members at his side, William Vann Kastler, Sr. passed away on April 6, 2018, after complications from a fall.
Bill, as he was known, was born in Raton, New Mexico on Feb. 12, 1919. He was the son of Joseph R. Kastler and Agnes D. (VanDeventer) Kastler.
Bill led an exciting and accomplished life, from his service as a Navy fighter pilot to working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and finally retiring after 26 years as an oil and gas attorney for Chevron/Gulf Oil Corporation.
Aside from being a true gentleman, Bill was widely known for his exceptional vocabulary and his paronomastic sense of humor - he was a real pun guy. He will be remembered as a wonderful, caring father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
His children learned respect, honesty, and responsibility by his example. Bill spent most of his high school years at St. Patrick Academy in Raton and graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1936.
He went on to graduate with a BA from the University of New Mexico where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity, president of the intra-fraternity council, and played violin in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. During the summers, he fondly recalled working as a motor boat driver at Eagle Nest Lake, N.M. He then attended the University of Colorado Law School.
When the United States actively entered World War II, Bill took a leave of absence from law school to become a Navy Pilot. He started as a flight instructor and went on to become a fighter pilot, flying a Corsair F4U off the USS Shangri-La aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.
Once WWII ended, he returned to Colorado University Law School in Boulder and completed his law degree. He continued service in the Naval Reserves, retiring as Commander.
While working as an attorney in Santa Fe, N.M., Bill met Marjorie Cooper, and they married Dec. 26, 1948. Under President Eisenhower, Bill was appointed to serve as an attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
In 1956, Bill took employment with Chevron/Gulf Oil Corporation and moved his young family to Roswell, N.M. Working in the oil and gas division of the legal department, Gulf Oil eventually transferred him to Midland, Texas then to Los Angeles.
During his tenure in California, he successfully argued a case before the Supreme Court of the United States. Subsequently, he was transferred to Houston, where he retired at the end of 1987.
Upon his wife's death that year, he returned to Albuquerque.
Bill is survived by his older sister, Maxine Jackson, and his four children: Janning Kastler Kennedy, Karen Kastler Swim, William V. Kastler, Jr., and Shelley Kastler Davis. He has 11 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the staff of La Vida Llena for their kind, compassionate and professional care and attention over the past nine years.
A private family service is planned. In lieu of flowers, all donations can be made to a in his name.
Published in Las Vegas Optic on Apr. 13, 2018
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