Ettie Kastelle, 99 years old, died peacefully at home and was welcomed into the loving arms of her Lord on May 9, 2020. She was born to Optander and Ida Hanson on March 16, 1921 in Baylor, MT the last of their four children: Olive Selz Murrary, Iner Hanson, and Ervin Hanson. She spent the first ten months of life in Baylor before the family moved to Whitefish where her father worked in the lumber industry.
Ettie Kastelle married Norman Kastelle on August 6, 1946. Ettie and Norman had six daughters they raised in Whitefish. Ettie spent a good portion of her life involved in her churches the Lakeside Chapel and later the Church of the Nazarene. Living close to Glacier Park Ettie and her family spent countless hours camping and hiking there. When she was 86 years old, she hiked into Snyder Lakes with her family. She told the boys and me not to wait for her and she would just hike as far as she could and then go back. We really didn’t think she could make it, but we were wrong. We were at the lake fishing for a couple of hours when she and Linda showed up. Over 5 miles and 1400 feet of elevation gain one way. She rested a while and ate lunch and then we all hiked out together. It was 10 miles round trip and I doubt many her age ever tried it. I will never forget that day.
For her 90th birthday the family gave her a helicopter tour of Glacier National Park which she loved and cherished for the rest of her life. At 93, she hiked the Highline Trail with Linda, Melody, and Rochelle and had her last hike there on the Trail of the Cedars with niece Dolly and her husband Gary Valliers and, Rochelle two years ago. Her daughter Ann took her to Kintla and Bowman Lakes places the family had camped when they girls were little, which was a real treat.
When the girls were raised, she and Norman traveled. As they traveled about the US and Canada visiting loved ones, they visited every National Park and Monument possible. Once they made a mission trip to Ecuador. Each week for more than 25 years she spent two days a week at Colonial Manor playing the piano and singing hymns and sharing her love of God with the residence there.
Ettie was preceded in death by her husband, Norman, a son in law, two granddaughters, and one great grandson. She is survived by her daughters Rochelle, (Jim) Killett of Nampa, ID, Ruth Slaamot of Alexandria, MN, Linda (Don) Phelps of Kalispell, MT, Melody Hall of Goessel, KS, Ann Kastelle of North Carolina, and Nancy (John) Kruger of Missoula, MT. Plus 20 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren and her dear friend, Clara Nelson.
During the past four years of her life, Ettie lived in an apartment with her daughter Linda Phelps who cared for her until the end. We want to express our thanks to Linda for her loving care of our mother and for Home Options Hospice who provided compassionate care the last few weeks.
Austin Funeral Home & Cremation Services are caring for the family. A private family service was held. A celebration of life will be held later this summer.
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