Ralph V. "Vern" Casteel

Born: Wed., Jun. 26, 1935
Died: Sun., Feb. 23, 2020


2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Sat., Feb. 29, 2020
Location: N. William St. Location

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sun., Mar. 01, 2020
Location: 1st United Methodist

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Ralph V. “Vern” Casteel

June 26, 1935 – February 23, 2020

Ralph Vernon “Vern” Casteel, 84, of South Bend passed away at 12:40 a.m. Sunday, February 23rd in Hospice House of South Bend following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He passed to a new and joyful life with our Lord and Savior and with his many loved ones that had preceded him in death. Vern was born June 26, 1935 in Zion, IL to the late Lillian M. (Detienne) and Harry C. Casteel and had lived in the South Bend area since 1963 after relocating from Downer’s Grove, IL. On August 2, 1958 in Chicago, IL he married Martha R. “Marty” Richard who survives. Also surviving are three daughters, Debra L. Flahaven (Richard) of Munster, IN, and Lisa A. Philippsen (Kirk) and Holly C. Easterbrook (David) both of South Bend; one son, Thomas V. Casteel (Mary) of South Bend; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and one sister, Rosemary Schelinski (Charles) of Mountain Home, AR.

Vern was a committed and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He greatly enjoyed time with his friends and family and took great pride in the accomplishments of his many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Vern was known for his honesty, integrity, reliability and generosity, and was always open to help those in need. He had a good sense of humor and was quick to smile and to laugh. Faith was the foundation of Vern’s life and he was very active in church. He was a member of First United Methodist Church for many years and also attended Grace United Methodist Church and Olive Branch United Brethren Church.

In 1975 Vern purchased the company that became Casteel Construction. He led the company passionately and enthusiastically until it closed in 2014. Casteel Construction built hundreds of buildings throughout Michiana, and had a longstanding reputation for excellence in quality of work, professionalism and integrity. Vern was well regarded by his employees, and he was always proud to say that Casteel Construction employed the best workers in the industry.

Vern was an avid private pilot and a skilled downhill skier. He loved roller coasters, and took his entire family to vacation at Cedar Point every year for fifty years. Vern was a graduate of the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, and was a passionate supporter of that program. He was a diehard Boilermaker fan, and loved both Purdue’s football and basketball teams.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Senior1Care for the loving care that they provided Vern and to the Center for Hospice for the compassion and comfort they provided him in his final days.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Saturday, February 29th in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 521 N. William St. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 1st in First United Methodist Church, 333 N. Main St. with Rev. Matthew Landry concelebrating with Rev. Daniel Drake, formerly of Olive Branch United Brethren Church. The family will also receive friends in the church at a reception following the service. Private committal services and burial will be in Southlawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Vern’s name may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN, 46545 or to the Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org. Family and friends may leave email condolences at www.welsheimers.com.

Charitable donations may be made in Ralph's memory to the following organizations:

Center for Hospice Care,
501 Comfort Ln., Mishawaka, IN, 46545

Parkinson’s Foundation at

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Dennis and Kathleen Griffioen
   Posted Tue February 25, 2020
I heard Vern say numerous times that he had the best employees in the area. Relative to that he was the best boss anyone could ever have. The eighteen years I worked for Vern were the best years of my entire career. I was proud to work for Vern and we accomplished tremendous things. Vern lived his life with honesty, generosity, kindness and integrity. He was a fine man and will be missed. Dennis and Kathleen Griffioen

Dan Wilkes Family
   Posted Tue February 25, 2020
Sending our love and prayers to the Casteel family at this time. May the memories provide peace and comfort to you all.

Helen Hibbs
   Posted Wed February 26, 2020
My deepest condolences to Marty and all of the family. You are in my prayers. Helen Hibbs

Greg Humnicky
   Posted Wed February 26, 2020
Rest in peace, Vern as you leave a fantastic legacy of being a great husband, father, grandparent and a true Boilermaker. We shall always cherish the memories of him forever.

Gayle Waldenmaier
   Posted Wed February 26, 2020
Heartfelt condolences, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jack Swantz
   Posted Wed February 26, 2020
Dear Marty and Family. My sincere condolences for our loss of another Honored Purdue Alumnus. God will welcome his ability and his construction will last forever.

Brad Serf
   Posted Thu February 27, 2020
A man of remarkable faith, integrity and wisdom. Every interaction I ever had with Vern I would leave with a nugget of helpful wisdom. Rest in Peace Vern, you were a mentor to all who knew you.

Lynn and George Jambor
   Posted Thu February 27, 2020
We are saddened for your loss. We loved Uncle Vern and will always remember him fondly.

Laurie and Ray Osborne
   Posted Thu February 27, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Marti and family. It has been a real privilege to know and share time with a fellow Boilermaker. We know Vern will be missed, but welcomed in a better place.

Melva Conlon
   Posted Fri February 28, 2020
You have our sincerest sympathy. Hope to see you,Marty, in a few weeks1

Kara & Pamela (Mielke)
   Posted Fri February 28, 2020
To the Casteel Family, Our thoughts are with you. While our paths have taken us away from our childhood backyards in South Bend, we wanted to let you know we are thinking of you. Sincerely, Kara & Pamela (the Mielke girls)

Jayne Kuhny Klinker
   Posted Sun March 01, 2020
Casteel Family-
My thoughts and prayers are with each of you! So many fond memories of “Mr. Casteel”. Cedar Point is still my favorite amusement park because I had the priveledge to be invited for the annual trip with all of you!! Know that he filled your heart with so much love that his spirit will continue with you always. Xoxo

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