Saturday, May 20, 2023 ~ 10:30 a.m.
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church ~ Wahoo, Nebraska
Interment at Seward Cemetery ~ Seward, Nebraska
Friday, May 19, 2023
Visitation ~ 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Rosary ~ 7:00 p.m.
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church ~ Wahoo, Nebraska
In care of the family
John E. Kastl passed away on May 12, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born on January 22, 1936, in Seward, Nebraska, to Edmund and Mary Kastl. He is survived by his wife of nearly 58 years, Rose (née Holmberg), as well as his son John and his wife Joyce (née Snitily), daughter Teresa and her husband Gary McArdle, grandson John, granddaughter Anastasia and her husband Joseph Barnes, granddaughter Elizabeth, and great granddaughter Cecilia Barnes.
John grew up in Bee, Nebraska, where he attended Bee Public School and graduated from Seward High School, class of 1954. He went on to attend Creighton University and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1959. John was a lifelong learner and continued to expand his knowledge through graduate studies at Wesleyan University in Lincoln, the University of Washington, the University of Maryland, Benedictine College, the Virginia Military Institute, and Princeton University. In 1965 John attended a summer institute at the Office of Civil Defense in Battle Creek, Michigan, and taught Civil Defense classes across the State of Nebraska.
John was a talented Physics and Chemistry teacher and was a favorite teacher for many of his students. He initially taught at Falls City High School, Crete Public Schools, and the University of Nebraska Extension Division, before teaching for nearly 30 years in the Lincoln Public Schools System, first at East High School and then at Southeast High School, where he was Department Chair. After retiring from full time teaching, he continued to teach part time at Southeast Community College.
Over his career, John was recognized for his excellence in teaching and received many awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching, the Christa McAuliffe Prize, the Scottish Rite Distinguished Teacher Award, AAFM, the Lincoln Public Schools Outstanding Teacher Award, the Sigma XI UNL Chapter Science Teacher Award, as well as various awards and distinctions from The American Association of Physics Teachers. John was often invited to speak internationally and presented papers on Science Curriculum at Moscow State University (Russia), McMaster University (Ontario Canada) and the University of Mexico at Morelia. John was affiliated with numerous professional organizations, including the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Chemical Society, and the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. He was President of the National Science Teachers Association Science Teaching Section, and Vice President of the American Chemical Society.
Throughout his life, John was active in his church and community. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus through the 4th degree and Grand Knight for two years in Lincoln Council 833. He was a member of St. Teresa’s parish in Lincoln, the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, where he often served as an usher for Sunday mass, and St. Wenceslaus parish in Wahoo. John and his wife Rose also enjoyed listening to the first graders read at St. Wenceslaus School in Wahoo.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Mary, and two grandchildren, Joseph and Mary.
My sympathy to Rose and family. I was a senior at Crete High School in 1964-65. As a teenage girl, it was wonderful witnessing John and Rose’s romance during that school year!
My condolences to the family. He was an exceptional teacher.
Rose, I’m so sorry to hear about John. You and the family are in my thoughts and prayers 🙏 ❤️.
Rose, and family. So sorry to hear about John. He was an integral member of the LSE staff where his talents and love of teaching were on display every single day. As we say in the halls of the knights, once a knight, always a knight. Paula Damke
Mr. Kastl was my Chemistry and Physics teacher at Crete High School my junior and senior year. I believe we only had 4 girls taking physics class. Two boys in our class, Richard Winkler and John Vernon could talk on the same level as Mr. Kastl. Those two sat in the front row and could talk circles around the rest of us with Mr. Kastl on any physics topic…as I recall. I graduated in 1964 missing the budding romance of John and Rose. My sincere sympathy to Rose, their children and grandchildren.
My condolences to the Kastl family. I was so fortunate to have Mr Kastl in chemistry at East High. There are few memorable teachers however he was one of those. I remember him standing on a counter to demonstrate a point. Thanks Mr Kastl.
My sincere condolences to Mr. Kastl’s family and friends. I was blessed to be in his Chemistry class at East High, class of 1975. He was an exceptional teacher. I have many memory memories of his kindness and excellent teaching techniques. Thank you for sharing him with all of us through the years. God bless .
Dear Rose, John, Teresa and families:
My deepest condolences to you all on the passing of my friend and your husband, father and grandfather. We shared many wonderful times on the faculty at LSE. John always called me “Mr. Music” and I came to call him “Mr. Wizard”. We enjoyed our friendship and I admired John immensely for his faith, family love and loyalty, sense of humor and general enjoyment of life: particularly the Lenten Friday fish fries (with pivo, of course) all around the area churches where he grew up. God bless you all as you mourn and joyfully remember the wonderful man John Kastl. With affection. Dr. Tim Sharer aka “Mr. Music”.
Blessings and prayers to you, Rose and your family. John was a wonderful, talented, funny and gifted man who was loved and admired by many. I have many fond memories of our years at LSE. Take care and God bless.
I’m so sorry to hear this! John was an exceptional person, teacher and colleague! I will always remember his great sense of humor. He always embraced his Czech heritage. My condolences to Rose and his family!
My deepest condolences to Dr. Kastl’s family. He was a remarkable teacher. He made learning chemistry a fun adventure every day. He was my favorite teacher at East.
Mr. KASTL was my teacher at East High. He always hit my desk with a ruler to wake me up. I still have “his brothers” BBQ recipe that he claimed was the best. Definitely one of my favorite teachers.
When I met my Husband I discovered he had had Mr. KASTL 10 years earlier in Crete. He was also his favorite teacher and his favorite subject.
My Stepson moved to Lincoln and we discovered that his favorite teacher was his science teacher Mr KASTL. 10 years after I had him.
We were in Crete for Class of 65 40th reunion and were told that Mr KASTL was coming. Unfortunately at the last minute he had to cancel.
A wonderful teacher that taught me much more about Life than science.
My deepest condolences to Mr. Kastl’s family and friends. I knew him as a teacher at East High, truly one of the best teachers.
Deepest sympathies to the Kastl family. Mr. Kastl was one of my favorite teachers at Southeast. I used to sneak him deer jerky in hopes of getting better grades in his class. My niece had him at Southeast as well and fondly remembers him. Every day with Mr. Kastl was a blessing and I learned so much from him. He was a gifted teacher who stimulated curiosity in the sciences and in life.
Mr. Lastly lived with my great grandma in Crete while he was going to school! And he was my Physics teacher at Southeast! He was one of the kindest souls and made life enjoyable!
My sympathies to Rose and her family. She taught me at Southeast High School. I know how much they love each other! May John rest in peace.
John, my condolences on the loss of your father, the wonderful Mr. Kastl. I still remember many hilarious moments that could only have happened because of his boundless good cheer. And, the deep respect he showed to each student that was giving genuine effort to learn and understand what he was teaching. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a teacher like that who shares the joy of learning and sparks curiosity and hunger to learn more.
May your family experience the grace of gentle grieving.
Blessings to you, Rose, and your family, as you mourn your loss of John but rejoice in a life well lived, as the testimonies above are witness to, as well as the beautifully written obituary. I remember fondly our days of coffee together when you lived in Lincoln. Remembering you all in prayer, Mary Pedersen
Condolences to John’s family. I ushered with John at the Cathedral for a number of years. We shared many stories and humor. What i remember most though, was our conversations speaking in Czech. I think we made each other’s day talking about his heritage and my upbringing in a Czech town.
“Spanem Bohem” my friend.
Thank you all so much for your condolences. It was heartwarming and sad at the same time. We had a wonderful life together. I will miss him forever. Rose
It was a blessing to have Rose and John as neighbors throughout my entire childhood. The bonus was having Mr. Kastl as a teacher at LSE where he shined even brighter and brought levity to some pretty difficult subjects!
Blessing to all of the Kastl’s as they celebrate the great life he had. You ALL were a tremendously positive influence upon us all.
Abbie Plessman Sheffield
My deepest sympathies to your families. May you be comforted in knowing what a difference he made in so many lives. As my own children have gone through high school chemistry and physics, I often think of Mr. Kastl and told them stories about how we actually enjoyed the class! I’m not sure they believe me, but it is true! Hugs to you all as you remember all of the happiness that he brought to your lives and so many others.