Marvel June Mitchell Castor, 87, of Russell, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at Russell Regional Hospital with her children by her side.
Marvel was born on March 28, 1935 on the family farm near Covert, Kansas, the only child of Albert Lyle and Helen Lorene (Orr) Mitchell. She lived her early years on the family farm with her parents and older brother, Doyle and younger brother, Gerald. Marvel enjoyed life on the farm. She loved to ride horses and was known to pull stunts on her pony. Marvel also helped with her father’s herd of cattle and she continued this passion later in her life.
Marvel attended Covert Schools, Osborne Junior High and graduated in 1953 from Osborne High School. In high school, Marvel was a devoted student and participated in many clubs and activities. Marvel treasured her friendships from her early school years throughout her life. After high school, Marvel attended Fort Hays State College and was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma. In January 1957, she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology. In August 1962, Marvel earned his Master of Science in Counseling. As a continuing student, Marvel earned advanced college credit in psychology, educational curriculum, and building/district administration certification. She holds teaching certifications in Zoology, Psychology, Botany, Biology and English.
While growing up in Osborne, Marvel met her life partner, Derril Lee Castor, when she was in middle school. Their friendship continued through high school and college. Marvel and Derril were married on November 21, 1959 at First Christian Church in Osborne, Kansas. This union was blessed with two children; The Mitchell (Mitch) and Lezlee. They have made Russell their home since 1963.
Marvel’s 43-year teaching and consulting career began in Phillipsburg, Kansas from 1957 to 1960. He worked at Green Valley High School and Osborne High School. In 1963, Marvel began working at Russell High School as a guidance counselor until her retirement in 1999. From 1979 to 1999, Marvel served as coordinator for Outreach classes at Barton County Community College in the Russell. Throughout her formative years, Marvel was a teacher, mentor, motivator, trusted listener, and pep talk giver. She might provide a shoulder to lean on or the voice that says, “keep your chin up and carry on.” For Marvel, the relationships she’s nurtured throughout her career have been her true measures of success and the unique achievements of the lives she’s fostered.
During the retreat, Marvel and Derril have not slowed down. They probably worked harder and were busier than most of their employed friends and family. They traveled abroad several times, made hundreds of trips to Kansas City, and devoted thousands of hours to renovating the Marvel family farm and property. Going to the farm has been a daily occurrence for many years for Marvel and Derril and has brought them so much happiness.
Marvel also loved going to auctions, refinishing furniture, planting flowers, especially irises and peonies, working and tending livestock, reading, and volunteering. She has served as a member of the DKG International Society of Women Educators, Chapter HD PEO, Russell’s Original Art Review (ROAR) Committee, Russell County Area Community Foundation, and Friends of Deines Board President for the Deines Cultural Center. Marvel was an active member of the Fort Hays State Alumni Association. She was a member of Russell’s St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church and later attended St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Marvel’s love for his family was like no other. She was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother and grandmother. She offered good advice and only wanted the best for those who were willing to work for it. Marvel loved attending the events of her children and grandchildren, having always been their most passionate and devoted supporter.
Marvel’s surviving family includes his son, Mitch Castor of Prairie Village, Kansas; daughter, Lezlee Ivy (Eric) of Parkville, Missouri; and four grandchildren, Connor Castor, Nick Castor, Brock Ivy and Tate Ivy; sister-in-law, Kathy Mitchell (Gary Chubb) of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and her children, David (Shabnam) Mitchell and Phil (Lauren) Mitchell; grandchildren Jolene (Rex) Kats, Joyce (Joe) Matal and Dodie Mitchell. She also leaves behind a host of dear and loving friends.
Marvel was preceded in the death by her husband Derril, her parents and brothers, Doyle Mitchell and Gerald Mitchell.
A celebration of the life of Marvel will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 11:00 AM. Private burial of the ashes will take place at a later date.
Memorials can be donated to the Marvel and Derril Castor Fund at the Russell County Area Community Foundation and sent to the morgue. The Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Morgue in Russell, Kansas is responsible for the funeral service.