07 April, 2011

The Impact of One Great Man   
~Grandpa the Great

Elias Smith Castle~
Grandpa The Great

1914 – 2011

Elias Smith Castle, 96, returned home to his Father in Heaven Monday evening while surrounded by his family.  Elias was born in SLC on 13 April 1914.  He lived a life of integrity that makes his posterity proud and honored to be associated with his name.  As a young boy he developed a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ which he maintained throughout his life.

Music was a great love for Elias and brought him much joy.  Elias enjoyed singing, playing piano, and more.  He particularly emphasized the great times he had during his college years performing with the Melody Knaves, a musical group that also preformed comic skits. 

He attended 9th grade at Irving Jr. High School following that he attended LDS High school graduating in 1931.  Upon graduation, he attended South High for a year for post graduate studies.  This is where he enrolled in his first botany class and his interest in plant science flourished.  Elias enrolled in the University of Utah in 1932 where he joined and served in the Field Artillery unit of the ROTC. 

Elias served a mission in the East Central States.  After returning he finished his Bachelors degree at University of Utah and later completed a Master of Science degree from Brigham Young University in 1939.
On 26 December 1941 Elias married his bride June Sorenson in the Salt Lake City Temple in a special ceremony preformed by Heber J. Grant.  He and June then returned to Ft. Sill Oklahoma where Elias continued his active military service.  Their first son Robert was born there in 1942.  During World War II he served in the US Army in Europe.  Later he served as a military advisor during the Korean War. 

Following the war, Elias and June moved to Provo, Utah where Elias took a teaching position in Botany at Brigham Young University.  In 1947 they moved to SLC where he taught in the public schools.  This is where their second son Paul was born in 1948. 

In 1953 they moved to Oakland where Elias began a PhD program at the University of California Berkley.  It was here in Oakland their youngest son Roger was born in 1954.  Elias, June and their boys remained in the Oakland and Concord California areas for many years.  Elias taught at Merrit Jr. College until he retired.  Elias enjoyed serving as a temple worker in the Oakland Temple. 

Elias and June served as full time missionaries in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission.  Their later years were spent in Utah enjoying their extended family. 

Elias was preceded in death by his parents Orie O. Castle and Sarah Susannah Smith,  his wife June Sorenson and one grandson.  He is survived by his older sister Sarah (Castle) Thomas (101), 3 sons and their wives, 12 Grandsons, 9 granddaughters  Elias has 53 great-grandchildren. 

I truly love this man.  He made an impact on many people.  
And he will be missed by many including #34 Elias L. Castle
My Top Ten Favorite Things about Grandpa The Great~
10. He always recognized my voice on phone even before I told him that is was me.
9. At age 96 he was quoted saying "I don't know what I would do with out the internet".
8. He wasn't afraid to tell my kids when they were being naughty, but didn't hold grudges
7. He always had a new gadget to show me and teach me about
6. He loved planting things and grew plants and vegetables up until he died.
5. He took genuine interest in the lives of others
4. He was my favorite friend on Facebook (sorry everyone else)
3. Completed so much family history that I think I am off the hook on that line.
2. He wanted to exchange bread recipes and bake together when I visited and we did~
1. Presented an honorable example and makes me proud to have my son carry his name.

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