V. George CASTLE (aka Captain Wunerful) George Castle, a longtime resident of Mercer Island, WA, left us to join his beloved wife on January 31, 2011 at age 90 - just two weeks shy of his 91st birthday. George was born on February 14, 1920 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Vern and Ruth Castle. He attended school in Fort Wayne, graduating from South Side High School. He went on to attend the University of Michigan where he met the love of his life and future wife, Virginia. George joined the Navy at the beginning of WWII where he learned to fly. During the war he was not only a flight instructor but flew cargo in the North Atlantic as well as from Seattle to Alaska. He returned to school after the war but was lured west to Boise, Idaho to fly for a small airline some of his friends were starting. He intended to stay just for the summer and return to Michigan to begin medical school, however, once there, he couldn't believe you could have so much fun AND get paid for it.He never returned to medical school and the rest is history. During his career he flew for Empire, West Coast and Hughes Airwest Airlines, retiring in 1980. His airline career moved the family to Spokane where he learned to ski and spent summers at Priest Lake in Idaho. They moved to Mercer Island in 1960 and cemented his love of skiing at Crystal Mountain and Schweitzer Mountain Ski area. After retirement George and Ginny spent their winters at Schweitzer where he was one of the founders of the Prime Timers Ski Club. He skied into his early 80's and loved the mountain and all of his wonderful friends there. For all of you skiers out there, remember that any sunny day on the slopes is what he called a "GLORIOSKI" kind of day. George loved life and all the joys it had to give. His family, friends, travel, woodworking, skiing, practical jokes and his strong faith gave him much joy in life. He loved people and made a new friend every time he walked out the door. George is survived by his children, Marti Castle-Bickford (Willard), Christina Eng (Hunter), George (Pam Gunther), Tom (Mary Goodfellow), and Libby Wotipka (Dick), his sister Ruthie Groves of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and grandchildren Brandy Castle, Laura, Elissa and Wylie Eng, Jake, Nick and Matthew Wotipka and Cordelia Bickford. When people would tell George to have ' a nice day', his reply was always 'you have a nice forever'. And we know he is doing just that. A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 4 at 1:00pm at the Mercer Island Covenant Church on Mercer Island with a reception following. All are welcome to sign George's guest book on line at www.bonneywatson.com.
Published in The Seattle Times on February 3, 2011