Saturday, May 9, 2009

Helen Corey Casten: Pegged out...

From Windsor Beacon:

Helen Corey Casten, 89, of Windsor passed away last Sunday at the Windsor Health Care Center, 710 Third Street.

Casten was born July 25, 1919 in Windsor and remained a Windsorite for most of her life.

“She was always busy and loved to learn even in the last day of her life,” said Jane Sattler, Casten’s daughter who now lives in Aurora. “She loved sharing things with people, it’s what made her tick.”

Casten was known to her friends as someone who “bloomed where she was planted” and to her mother as “Merry Sunshine,” as she always had a positive outlook on life.

To the rest of her family and friends, she was a loveable woman who had a passion for others.

“She made sure everyone had a napkin and tableware (at Windsor Health Care Center),” Sattler said with a smile. “If someone needed their food cut up into smaller pieces, she would do it. She just looked out for everyone.” Casten was also notorious for saving newspaper articles to share with friends and family members.

“She loved to send newspaper clippings to people who she thought would like to see them or who were in the newspaper,” Sattler said. “They could be obituaries, wedding announcements, graduation announcements- whatever. She just loved to share them with people.”

Michele Rodman, an activities assistant at Windsor Health Care Center, agreed.
“She was always concerned about other people,” Rodman said. “She was also very outgoing and a very nice lady.”

Looking out for others also included keeping track of all of the visitors, nurses and family members traveling in and out of the health center.

“She was a pretty big micro-manager,” Sattler said with a laugh. “She would sit out front with a book and wait to see who came and went, along with finding out all of the news. It wasn’t a gossipy-thing, she just monitored what was going on and followed every bit of news.”

Beisdes being a big newshound, Casten loved books, magazines and keeping up with what was happening in the world.

“She had a voracious appreciation for knowledge,” Sattler said. “Besides reading the newspaper, the Times and Reader’s Digest she had also read Roosevelt’s 600-page biography, Danielle Steele novels and all of the books on Oprah’s best selling list.”
Dr. Jim Barrington, a minister at First Christian Church of Windsor, 530 Walnut Street, could not agree more.

“She always wanted to share her books,” he said, “especially the one about Walter Cronkite. We would also talk about music during our weekly cribbage games and she knew a lot of Windsor’s history. She was like a walking history book.”

It only made sense that Casten would marvel in the history of Windsor.

Her father, George B. Teller, was the son of a pioneer and prominent Windsor merchant, Harrison Teller, who lived in Windsor years ago and was one of the founders of First Christian Church.

“Her family was a big part of the history of Windsor,” Sattler said. “Now, it’s kind of like the end of an era.”

Besides knowing a great deal of Windsor’s history, Casten also took time to learn a few new tricks of the 21st Century.

“She was just e-mailing me off of a high-speed laptop on Wednesday,” Sattler recalled. “I remember when the VCR first came out she had to have it and she also knew how to use a cell phone, although it was getting a little harder for her to use.”

“She constantly had to be learning something new,” Sattler added, “which made her interesting. It’s also amazing that she was not stuck in the past but always looking to the future.”

Original article

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