Bernard (Bernie) W. Casterton

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:19 pm

Bernard (Bernie) W. Casterton, 83, of Decorah, died Tuesday morning, Sept. 19, 2017, at Ossian Senior Hospice in Ossian. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at Decorah Lutheran Church, with Rev. Gary F. Krapfl and Rev. Dave Sorenson officiating. Burial is in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah and Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m., one hour before the service, at Decorah Lutheran Church. Casket bearers are his grandchildren: Justin Casterton, Kelly Casterton, Kelly Evans, Darrah Lansing, Micole Lansing, Augusta Casterton and Audrey Casterton. Organist is Kathy Murray. A duet will be sung Steve Casterton and Karen Hansen (“Let There Be Peace on Earth”). Soloist is Paul Casterton (“The Lord’s Prayer”). Congregational hymns are “Shall We Gather at the River” and “Lift High the Cross.” Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Bernard (Bernie) Wayne Casterton was born Dec. 9, 1933, in Highland Township, Winneshiek County. He was the youngest of nine children born to Josiah and Augusta (Busness) Casterton. Bernie was baptized and confirmed at Highland Lutheran Church. He attended the Kjome School in Highland Township, graduated from Decorah High School with the Class of 1952, and began working for Roverud Construction. Later he worked at the Texaco Station as a mechanic for Art Erickson before he went into farming.

Bernie married the love of his life, Martha Hovey, June 4, 1955, at Decorah Lutheran Church. They farmed on what is now the family’s century farm – raising beef, hogs, chickens, milking cows and farming the land. Here they raised four children – Chuck, Steve, Judy and Paul – and welcomed their grandchildren and great-grandchild, which were always the apple of Grandpa’s eye. The door to Bernie and Martha’s was always open to family and friends, any time of the day or night.

Bernie sold Pioneer Hybrid International seed corn for 33 years. He and Martha enjoyed getting to know so many area farmers and traveling with Pioneer before he retired in 1988. Bernie also served on the Winn Coop board, The finance committee when Decorah Lutheran was built, and Silvercrest Golf and Country Club board.

Bernie enjoyed golfing and he was a member at Silvercrest and Oneota Country Clubs. He liked playing cards, watching the Minnesota Vikings and boxing, hunting, fishing, and spending time at his cabin on the Mississippi. He spent many years on Walt Hovey’s pit crew and at the local race tracks. But most of all, he loved to be with his family.

He was well known for his candy-making, which he generously shared with almost everyone he knew. He always had a pocket full of change; and he often gave it to the grandkids to buy candy. Bernie’s actions spoke louder than his words. Once you met him, you were never a stranger. His big, kind heart and fun-loving personality will be missed by so many.

Bernie was diagnosed with Alzheimers and at 83 years of age, he was called home by our Heavenly Father Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The family extends sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Ossian Senior Hospice for their compassionate care to Bernie and his family.

Bernie is survived by his wife of 62 years, Martha; and his children: Chuck (Deanna) Casterton, Steve Casterton, Judy (Kevin) Lansing and Paul (Patty) Casterton; his grandchildren: Justin (Katie) Casterton, Kelly (Codie Welsh) Casterton, Kelly (Jeff) Evans, Darrah (Mitch) Holland, Micole (Josey Jewell) Lansing, Augusta Casterton and Audrey Casterton; one great-granddaughter, Ida Jo Welsh; one sister, Belva Fadness; two sisters-in-law, Shirley Casterton and Virginia Sacquitne; one brother-in-law, Leonard Olson; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandson, Danan Lansing; his parents, Josiah and Augusta Casterton; mother- and father-in-law, Clara and Clarence Hovey; his siblings and their spouses: Edna (Alvin) Swenson, Palma (Orville) Wermager, James Casterton (at age 7), Lawrence (Ethel) Casterton, James Casterton, June Olson and Myrtle (Melvin) Noecker; his sister-and-brothers-in-law, Colleen and Ralph Askelson, Harold Fadness, and Obert Sacquitne; two nieces, Ruth Fadness and Virlis McClintock; and two nephews, Donald Sacquitne and Randy Richter.

It’s hard to forget someone who gave us so much to remember. Never are we more aware of how much friends and family mean, than at a time like this. Your thoughtfulness, calls, cards and company have done much to ease our sorrow. Thank you for celebrating Bernie’s life with us today. Blessed be his memory.

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