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John R. Vande Castle

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John R. Vande Castle Obituary
John R. Vande Castle



Dr. John R. Vande Castle, age 65, passed peacefully at home on Friday, Friday, April 26, 2019, after courageously battling pancreatic cancer. John was born in Port Washington, Wisconsin and had an academic career. He attended St. Mary Catholic School and was a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School. John attended St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, and went on to University of Wisconsin, earning a B.S. in Biological Aspects of Conservation, his M.S. in Zoology, and his PhD in Aquatic Biology, Computer Science. Prior to earning his PhD, John attended University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. While at University of Wisconsin, he worked as research associate and lecturer. He held research associate professorships at the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources, and then the University of New Mexico Biology Department, where he was active in UNM faculty governance. He served as Associate Director of the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program at UNM. John authored and co-authored numerous publications and presentations on ecological research and utilizing remote sensing applications in ecosystem analysis. An avid outdoorsman all his life, John retired in October 2015 and enjoyed downhill and backcountry skiing, canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking. John volunteered with the Sandia Peak Ski Patrol where he served as assistant director, the mountain bike patrol at Sandia and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, Los Alamos, and the U.S. Forest Service. He traveled extensively with a passion for all places connected to water. He was devoted to his black Labradors, Scout and Kona, who precede him, and Jack, who survives him. John was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Bernice. John is survived by his sister, Patricia (Patrick) Hitt of Minocqua, Wisconsin; and nephews, Joseph (Lindsey) Hitt; Peter (Katie) Hitt; and John (Libby) Hitt; and their children. Also survived by his boyhood friend Gary (Kris) Jack of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and long-time friends, Dave (Linda) Peterson, Greg Townsend, many Ski Patrol buddies including Bruce Bowles and Sean Broderick, and neighborhood friends. His concern for the environment was matched by his warmth, wit, and tremendous fortitude. The kindness from friends, family, and caregivers is deeply appreciated. A Rosary will be recited at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 5415 Fortuna Rd NW, Albuquerque, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 10:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m.. Memorial contributions may be made to the Greg Hunter Memorial Fund established by the Sandia Ski Patrol, Animal Humane New Mexico, or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please visit our online guestbook for John at www.FrenchFunerals.com.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on May 19, 2019
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