Nancy Lee (Norman) Castleberry, 87 departed this life on Monday July 22, 2019 in Redlands, California. Born on March 8th, 1932 in Macon, Georgia to the union of Prime Norman, Sr. and Inez Baker. She was the oldest of five siblings. In 1940 the family relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 1952 Nancy and Farris Castleberry, Sr. united in holy matrimony and began to raise a family. To this union three children were born: Farris Jr., Gail and Donna. At an early age, Nancy proved that through faith, hard work and determination, anything was possible. She accepted the Lord as her Savior and was a faithful member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church. She was also affiliated with St. John’s Congregational Church, Third Baptist Church, and Price Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.
Nancy worked at F.W. Sickels, but longed to continue her education. She became a coordinator at Northern Educational Services and went on to become a teacher’s aide at Tapley School. As she strived for more God opened another door and she became a part of the C.O.P Program (Career Opportunity Program). During this time she thrived and excelled and became an assistant teacher at Dorman School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and Masters of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduation, she taught a 5th grade accelerated class, 1st and 2nd grades and Title One. She embodied tenacity, drive and perseverance while working fulltime, attending college, raising a family and caring for a husband who she tragically lost to cancer in 1974. Throughout her career Nancy had a great rapport and enthusiasm with everyone, especially while doing special projects with her students. She was known for making her individual sweet potato pies and adding a dollop of whipped cream during Black History Month. Nancy was a beloved educator with the Springfield School District for 25 years until she retired in 1996 due to health issues.
Her infectious smile lit up a room. Her cheerful and unique laugh was always refreshing. Nancy touched many lives with her loving and caring spirit. She cherished family and friendships. Nancy was such a joy and inspiration to all who came in contact with her. Even in poor health she continued to thank God for his grace and mercy. She will always be remembered for her love of life and respect and dignity for all.
Nancy is predeceased by her parents; husband, Farris Castleberry, Sr.; son, Farris Castleberry, Jr.; daughter, Gail Castleberry; brother, Prime Norman, Jr. She is survived by her beloved daughter, Donna Castleberry of Los Angeles; daughter-in-law; Grace Castleberry of Goodyear, AZ; brother, Paul Norman (Mamie) of Bowie, MD; two sisters, Geraldine Anderson of Springfield and Christine Brown of College Park, GA; two granddaughters, Alexis Castleberry and Whitney Castleberry and two great grandchildren, Jayden Castleberry and Briella Castleberry all of Goodyear, AZ as well as numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and a host of extended family and friends.
Today we celebrate the life of this woman with such a sweet spirit…A woman who had a special gift…We thank God for this beautiful lady, Nancy.