Marvel June Mitchell Castor, 87, of Russell, Kansas, passed away peacefully Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at Russell Regional Hospital with her children by her side.
Marvel was born March 28, 1935 on the family homestead near Covert, Kansas, the only daughter 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 her life on the farm. She loved to ride horses and was known for doing trick riding on her pony. Marvel also helped with her father’s cattle herd and 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 dedicated student and participated in many clubs and activities. Marvel treasured her friendships from her early school years throughout her lifetime. After high school, Marvel attended Fort Hays State College and she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma. In January 1957, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Psychology. In August of 1962, Marvel earned her Master of Science in Counseling. As a continuous learner, Marvel earned advanced graduate credit in psychology, educational curriculum and building/district administration certification. She held 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 junior high school. Their friendship continued throughout high school and college. Marvel and Derril were married on November 21, 1959 at the First Christian Church in Osborne, Kansas. This union was blessed with two children; L’Mitchell (Mitch) and Lezlee. They have made Russell their home since 1963.
Marvel’s 43 year teaching and counseling career began in Phillipsburg, Kansas from 1957-1960. She worked at Green Valley High School and Osborne High School. In 1963, Marvel started working at Russell High School as the guidance counselor until her retirement in 1999. From 1979-1999, Marvel served as the coordinator for Barton County Community College Outreach classes in the Russell area. During her years in education, Marvel served as a teacher, mentor, motivator, trusted listener, and pep talk giver. She could provide a shoulder to lean on or the voice saying, “keep your chin up and get going”. For Marvel, the relationships she cultivated throughout her career served as her true measures of success and the unique achievements of the lives she encouraged.
During retirement, Marvel and Derril didn’t slow down. They arguably worked harder and were busier than most of their employed friends and family. They traveled abroad several times, made hundreds of trips of Kansas City, and devoted thousands of hours refurbishing Marvel’s family farmhouse and property. Going to the farm was a daily occurrence for many years for Marvel and Derril and one that brought them both so much happiness.
Marvel also loved going to auctions, refinishing furniture, planting flowers-especially irises and peonies, working and checking cattle, reading, and volunteering. She was a member of DKG International Society of Women Educators, Chapter HD P.E.O., 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 the St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church of Russell and later attended the St. John Lutheran Church.
Marvel’s love for her family was unmatched. She was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, and grandmother. She offered sound advice and wanted only the best for those willing to work for it. Marvel loved attending the events of her children and grandchildren, as she was always their most passionate and dedicated supporter.
Marvel’s surviving family includes her son, Mitch Castor of Prairie Village, Kansas; daughter, Lezlee Ivy (Eric) of Parkville, Missouri; and four grandsons, Connor Castor, Nick Castor, Brock Ivy and Tate Ivy; sister-in-law, Kathy Mitchell (Gary Chubb) of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and her sons, David (Shabnam) Mitchell and Phil (Lauren) Mitchell; nieces Jolene (Rex) Kats, Joyce (Joe) Matal, and Dodie Mitchell. She also leaves behind a host of loving and dear friends.
Marvel was preceded in death by her husband Derril, her parents and brothers, Doyle Mitchell and Gerald Mitchell.
A celebration of Marvel’s life will be held at St. John Lutheran Church on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. Private burial of ashes will take place at a later time. Memorials may be given to the Marvel and Derril Castor Fund at the Russell County Area Community Foundation and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service.