Afton Kunz Castlemain, 88, passed away on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. She was born on December 2, 1931, in Ogden, Utah, the daughter of Fredrick Samuel and Bertha Maree Olsen Kunz. She was a graduate of Ogden High School in 1950, where she enjoyed all aspects of the high school experience including musical performance, student government, and academics. She maintained a close friendship with many of her high school classmates throughout the years. After graduation, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah in 1954.
She married her high school sweetheart, Victor Dean Castlemain, on September 1, 1954, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They were the parents of four children: Brian, Brent, Lynette, and Nadine. She was a devoted wife and a loving mother. Throughout the next 65 years, there were very few activities, projects, or family events that were not enjoyed as a couple. Working together with her dear husband and serving her family and community were a source of great joy and fulfillment for Afton. Of great importance for Afton was providing opportunities for education and other advancement in life for her family; one of her last deeds prior to her death was establishing an education fund for her new great-granddaughter, Alyse.
Afton was a gifted musician and an extraordinary pianist. This gift was recognized early in her life. As a teenager, she was employed as an accompanist at the Reed School of Dance. From this initial experience, she would engage herself in every possible opportunity to teach, accompany, perform, and express herself and her love of music. For Afton, the sharing of her musical talents was always about serving and inspiring rather than part of earning a living.
Her dedication to teaching led her to begin her working life as a first-grade teacher at T.O. Smith Elementary School after her graduation. Recognizing an underserved area of child education, Afton partnered with a friend and opened one of the first daycare/preschool centers in Ogden, “D” Play School. For 31 years, Afton and her wonderful staff taught, nurtured, provided meals, and stimulating activities for preschool children. After retiring from educating youth at the “D” Play School, Afton began working for Lindquist and Sons as a chapel organist and accompanist. Over the next three decades, Afton was able to provide comfort and a measure of solace with her music to many who were in the midst of difficult times with the loss of a loved one. Her duties and service at the mortuary were a great source of joy and satisfaction to all.
Afton was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints and served faithfully in many callings therein. She took every opportunity through word and deed to share her faith and testimony with family and friends.
Her drive and energy would have made a professional pathway in life very feasible. Afton always valued the family first, however, and structured her life in such a way that the needs of the family always took precedence over the demands of work and auxiliary activities. Throughout her life it was extremely important to her that she be involved in some way in the activities of not only her children but her grandchildren. Birthdays and major milestones were never missed, and mission and education accounts were established for every grandchild.
Afton is survived by her children: Brian (Theresa) Castlemain of Albuquerque, NM, O. Brent (Deborah) Castlemain of Ft. Worth, TX, and Lynette (LaMar) Hill of Gilbert, AZ; 16 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter; and a sister, Marilyn Kunz Griffin of Ogden, Utah. She was preceded in death by her husband, Victor Dean Castlemain, and her daughter, Nadine Castlemain Jellema; one sister, Joyce Kunz Saunders and her parents.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. We ask that friends bring a mask and observe social distancing precautions. Friends may visit with family on Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary. Interment, Lindquist’s Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd.