Joseph A. Kastelic, 62, of Chippewa Falls, WI, died Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at his residence surrounded by his loving family under the care of St. Joseph’s Hospice.
Joe was born May 29, 1954, in Ely, MN, the son of Joseph G. and Mary Ann (Arola) Kastelic. On June 9, 1984, Joe married Kristi Sellon at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Ely.
Joe graduated from St. John’s College in 1977. He then taught Social Studies, History and Civics at St. Cloud Cathedral from 1977-1978, he was an computer programmer at AFU in Ely and substitute teacher and coach at Ely High School, and then moved to Chippewa Falls to teach at McDonell from 1986-1988 where he was an assistant football coach and golf coach, and later taught Social Studies and was a class advisor at New Auburn from 1988-2004 until early retirement due to health issues.
Joe was a member of Notre Dame Church in Chippewa Falls from 1986 until the present. He was involved in many church activities, usher, and Eucharistic minister of Holy Communion, parish picnics, soup suppers and church dinners.
Joe was the official Grade 1-6 CCD hall monitor along with his faithful dogs, Shanie and Lacie. Joe would help students with assignments with Shanie and Lacie providing therapeutic assistance to encourage students with completing their lessons.
Joe was an avid Vikings and Twins fan attending games and watching on TV. He faithfully endured his teams through the good and “there’s always next season.” Joe enjoyed fishing and looked forward to the Minnesota opener every year. Joe attended local high school and elementary school sporting events, supporting and encouraging students. Joe was a volunteer for Friends of the Library providing book deliveries for homebound patrons.
Joe’s favorite holiday was “Groundhog Day.” He would deliver home baked ground hog cookies to friends around Chippewa Falls. Joe’s social studies students frequently scored above the 95th percentile in the WKE. He was selected several times by students as their most influential educator. During the summer, Joe enjoyed gardening and yard work, mowing his own lawn and moving along to assist his neighbors. Fall was leaf raking, picking up leaves and hauling brush to the dump. During the winter, was snow blowing.
Joe had an interest in Civil War history. He provided opportunities for his students to take advanced placement and individual studies on the Civil War. Joe and Kristi would spend part of their summer vacations visiting Civil War historic sites. Joe had the heart of a caregiver and teacher. Joe’s motto was “the more the merrier” and “the bigger the better” always including everyone. Joe was a member of the Ely Lions Club from 1978 to 1986, Knights of Columbus Goldsmith Council #974 since 2011.
Joe is survived by his wife, Kristi; two brothers, David (Janice) Kastelic of Roseville, MN, and Jon (Anneka) Kastelic of Duluth, MN; one sister, Mary (Jeff) Johnson of Roseville, MN; nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; paternal grandparents, Joseph and Mary Kastelic; and maternal grandparents, Axel and Elise Arola.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 22, 2017, at Notre Dame Church in Chippewa Falls. Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will be celebrant of the funeral Mass. Interment will be in Hope Cemetery in Chippewa Falls.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at the Horan Funeral Home in Chippewa Falls and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at Notre Dame Church in Chippewa Falls. The Knights of Columbus Goldsmith Council #974 will recite the rosary at 4 p.m. and there will be a Christian vigil service at 6 p.m. both on Sunday at the funeral home.
Joe’s family prefers memorials to St. Francesca Resource Center at Notre Dame Church or St. Joseph’s Hospice.
Family and friends may express condolences online at http://www.horanfuneralhome.com.