Steven Joseph Kastella
A long time local was lost on 12-27-20 when Steve passed peacefully in Whitefish with family by his side. Steve was born on 10-31-51 in Whitefish, MT. Being a Halloween baby seemed fitting, as he was ever the jokester. Steve graduated from Whitefish High School in 1970. His list of athletic accomplishments were numerous. Amongst them, he received All-American honors at WHS in basketball and helped lead the Bulldogs to a state championship victory in 1970. He also played in the East/West Shrine game in football, excelled in baseball and was later inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame. Steve received numerous collegiate athletic scholarship offers but chose to follow his high school sweetheart Norma Wagner to The University of Montana, Northern in Havre. He played both football and basketball there before he and Norma married, began a family and moved back to Whitefish. Steve began working at Plum Creek and did so for 34 years. Steve coached many youth athletic teams throughout his life, coaching both his sons teams and his grandsons teams. One of his highlights was coaching his grandson Derek in Glacier Babe Ruth, alongside his son Davin. That team was undefeated and won the league and tournament that year. Steve fondly remembered his time with this special group of young men. He impacted many young lives with his fun nature and will certainly be remembered with love and laughter by the members of that team.
Steve was a simple man who had many great qualities. He was very humble and was uncomfortable talking about his own achievements. He was also incredibly generous and kind and did not care about possessions or material things. Stories have been told how he would give his trophies and medals away to the neighborhood kids. He was very giving to those around him and would share his last dollar with a stranger.
Anyone that met Steve was instantly aware of his charm, charisma and sense of humor. He took the time to brighten peoples day through his everyday encounters with them. He was a man who could look a stranger in the eye and quickly strike up a conversion. He took the time to get to know people and make people laugh. He genuinely lived in every moment.
His family was especially important to him and he was affectionately called “Papa Cheese” by all his grandkids. He enjoyed watching Derek and Paytee play local sports and particularly enjoyed taking Paytee fishing as a young girl. He also looked forward when his grandkids Nina and Luke would visit from out of state. He loved his pets and any animal he took in was certainly lucky...including the deer, turkeys, and birds that would frequent his yard and the skunks that lived under his porch. He made it a priority to make sure they never went hungry.
The hole in our hearts that is left by his passing will be felt forever. But the impact he made on those around him will not be forgotten. We have peace in knowing his love for the Lord and know we will see him again one day.
Steve is survived by his son Davin Kastella (wife, Kate), grandson Derek, granddaughter Payton “Paytee,” his daughter Kimberly Rasca (husband, Jon), granddaughter Nina, grandson Luke, the mother of his children Norma Kastella, his brother Tony Kastella (nephews Kobuk and Morgan), his sister Suzan Kawulok (husband Cliff, niece Phoenix), his brother Kelly Wilke (wife Rebecca), and his dear friend Janet Reynolds. He is preceded in death by his daughter Carrie, and his parents Mel Kastella and Frances Wilke.
Special thanks to Meals on Wheels and to those at the Wound Center in Kalispell for their care, especially Jill and Hope. A family gathering will be planned for sometime during the summer 2021, Covid depending. Austin funeral home is caring for the family.
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