James Poe Castberg
James Poe Castberg was born on July 12, 1933, in Powell, Wyoming, to William and Harriett (Jones) Castberg. Jim graduated from Powell High School in 1951. His first real job was working as a "Hod Carrier." Jim worked hard carrying bricks, stones, mortar, and other construction materials up and down ladders to the stonemasons and bricklayers..
Jim went on to attend the University of Wyoming with an interest in studying law. He was persuaded to get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology first. If practicing law did not work out, Jim would have a promising career to fall back on as a Geologist. Jim also joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) on campus. Happily, during this time he also met his future bride, Jeanne Eleanor Northrup, and they were married on September 25, 1955..
After obtaining his degree in Geology, Jim began his four-year active duty with the Air Force which included flying many missions to Europe. Three years later, Jim and Jeanne welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ann, at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in upstate New York on November 27, 1958. After completing his active duty, Jim continued pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer. He attended the University of Wyoming Law School for three years while beginning his Air Force Reserve career. After graduating from law school, Jim began a law practice in Powell, Wyoming, that would span nearly 60 amazing years.. Following are highlights from his legal practice and service in the Air Force Reserves:
- Served as the Park County and Prosecuting Attorney for Park County, Wyoming.
- Served as Republican State Chairman for the State of Wyoming.
- Assisted Dick Cheney in his election to Congress as Representative for the state of Wyoming.
- Assisted Alan "Al" Simpson in his election to the Senate
- On Oct. 9th, 1976, Jim was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the post of United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming, where he served for two years.
- As part of Jim's Air Force Reserve duties, he was called upon to work in the Pentagon every summer.
- Jim ultimately attained the rank of Full Bird Colonel, and his Wings were awarded by the prestigious 4-Star General Jerome "Jerry" O'Malley.
In September 2022, the Wyoming State Bar recognized Jim for 60 years of distinguished service as a member of the Bar. Among the other awards Jim received were:
The Legion of Merit Medal - 1985
The Meritorious Service Medal – 1983
The Army Commendation Medal - 1981
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Special Commendation – 1976
Jim served on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and was active in the Shriners and Rotary service organizations. Jim was a lifelong Episcopalian and also believed to be the oldest living Eagle Scout in Powell, Wyoming.
During his incredible life, Jim enjoyed flying as a private pilot, farming, boating, golfing,, skiing,, hunting, and fishing. Jim will be remembered as an avid Wyoming Cowboys "Pokes" football fan. During the holidays, Jim shared his homemade, handcrafted caramels with family, friends, and colleagues.
Jim is survived by his daughter Ann Irving, son Bill Castberg, granddaughter Amanda "A.J." Irving (Ian Fuller); and two great-grandchildren, Mason and Sophie Fuller. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, William and Harriett, and his daughter Julia.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 pm, on September 1, 2023, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Sheridan, Wyoming, with Full Military Honors to be followed later by a graveside service at 2:00 pm, on September 2, 2023, at Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell, Wyoming.
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Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.