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Friday, August 31, 2012

My father, Dr. Charles E. Casto, better known as Dad

Right in the midst of reading over my blog posts about my mom, I felt a need to share with you, my father's eulogy.

My father was a unique man. He was the father to eight children: Gail, David, Susan, Beth, John, Paul, Jim and Amy. He was a physician and had his own practice in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He was a religious man, serving as president of my church council. He was a missionary. He wrote a book titled, "Missions Matter." He, too like my mother, had physical limitations but kept these two scripture verses as his credo: "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21) and "Having gifts that differ, use them." (Romans 12:6).

My father passed away in 2004 surrounded by his family. God prepared us for his death and for that reason alone, I was able to get up and do a eulogy.

Thank you for coming.

Many of you knew Charles Casto by his good deeds, from his mission work, and as your personal physician. Many of you helped support Dad and Ruth as they delivered God’s word in Honduras. But – and I ask my sisters and brothers to stand as I say your name, Gail, David, Susan, Beth, John, Paul, Jim and Amy - ALL OF US knew Charles Casto as DAD! 

Many of you remember Dad’s first medical mission trip to Bolivia in 1967….
Gail remembers braiding daffodils with Dad, his green pants, picking his grey hairs, locking his tools up from the boys, wrestling on the floor with him, waiting in the car after church while he made his hospital rounds. And Gail remembers Dad cussing while trying to get the live Christmas tree to fit perfect in the container. Gail remembers Dad’s favorite saying, “Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttthhhhhh!”

Many of you remember Dad as a member of Trinity United Church of Christ where he served as President of Council….
David remembers Dad as he donned his chef’s hat and sang “I’m a crazy waiter” while serving apples and milk. Mind you, the apples and milk were served together in the same bowl.

Some of you may recall the story about the hearing that was restored for a five year old boy in an isolated village in Honduras. It was his goal to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, just as Jesus commanded. This he did in the hope that one day God would greet him and say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”….
Sue remembers the family tradition she started on Christmas mornings with her family. Dad and Ruth would come to her house and every year Dad would say, “This is the best quiche I have ever tasted.” Well that is Sue’s version anyways (love you Sue). Sue remembers the Casto family mystery trips. Dad not wanting to miss any of the soccer games that Michael and Jennifer played.

Many of you may have heard that Dad was not able to walk the treacherous mountain side and the people of Honduras were so happy Dad was there to treat them – they carried him for more than one half miles, a two and a half hour journey….
I remember Dad handing me my high school diploma at graduation – he was a member of the Cuyahoga Falls School board. I remember Dad showing me how to wrap Christmas presents – thanks Dad – now it takes me 30 minutes to wrap one gift! I remember riding home after Christmas Eve Service and going down Broad Boulevard yelling “weee” as the car flew over the humps at each street intersection.

Many of you may remember the many times you brought your love ones to my father’s practice in Cuyahoga Falls. He loved his patients and loved hearing them calling him “their family doctor.”…
John remembers Indian Guides “Pals for Ever, Father and Son that’s our slogan that’s our song”. Trying to resuscitate a mouse using his medical techniques. Building a Soap Box Derby and racing it down Derby Downs. Taking us to Perkins Pancake House every Sunday after church.

Some of you even went to school on North Hill with my father and knew about the body cast he wore for 15 months….
Paul remembers Dad setting up the tent in the backyard and sleeping with them. Dad got up in the middle of the night to go inside and so did the rest of them. Paul remembers Dad taking us fishing and untangling eight fishing rods at the same time.

Some of you might remember that he was the football team physician at Stow-Munroe Falls High School. Many of you had the privilege of knowing my father and supporting his efforts. And I hope many of you have read his book called Mission Matters. This book was completed on his birthday in 2003….
Jim remembers making fun of Dad’s pontoon boat, referring to it as a piece of plywood on oil drums. Jim wonders - Dad spend so many years making Indian Guides Pine Car Derby cars..., you would have thought Dad, I mean Jim would have won at least one race.

Many of you donated money and glasses for Dad’s missions. We thank you all for making his missions possible….
Amy remembers going to Honduras with Dad and the plane ride into Copan Ruins. She was so scared she held his hand so tight. Amy recalls on the houseboat Dad was supposed to be steering, but no one was and we ran right into the shore. Amy remembers Dad’s favorite saying, Bah humbug.

There has been an on-going discussion with my sisters and brothers – well, perhaps it is an on-going feud. It seems that Gail believes she was Dad’s favorite. Sue tells everyone she was. Amy proclaims the same thing. Paul introduces himself as the favorite. The same holds true for David, John, and Jim. I don’t boast about being Dad’s favorite….because I know the real answer!!

I was fortunate enough to visit Dad the Wednesday before he was hospitalized last week. I was carrying out Reverend Kiewit’s sermon, “If you don’t give up something for Lent, give something away.” That day I visited Jim and Lillian Biggins with trays of homemade cookies. And yes, Mr. Biggins – I told Dad that same day that you were grateful for the medical advice you gave him. My last stop that day to carry out the Rev’s sermon was to take Dad one of his favorite meals – Kentucky Fried Chicken.

While my son. Bill was in the kitchen with Ruth, Dad handed me an envelope. On the envelope it read – "My Favorite Child." Dad asked me not to open the envelope until he passed away. Today I hold the envelope and will finally settle this family “discussion”. In this envelope holds the name of Dad’s favorite child. (Open envelope, smile and say “YES, I knew it!”)

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