Arnold D. "Arnie"Castagner, 89 passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. at the Valley Terrace Facility, Christian Street, White River Jct., Vt.
Arnold (Coach) was born on Aug. 18, 1928 in Sharon, Vt., the son of Dewey and Marjorie (Martin) Castagner. In 1934 the family moved to North Tunbridge where they purchased a small farm.
Arnold attended the North Tunbridge Elementary School and South Royalton High School (where he was an honor student, star athlete player on the baseball and basketball teams) graduating salutatorian in 1946. He then enrolled at Tufts College in Medford, Mass. and graduated with honors in 1950. He was drafted into the U.S. Army (Korean War) and was stationed in Germany. He enjoyed his tour of duty in Germany, traveling around the countryside. He especially enjoyed the German beer. Upon receiving an honorable discharge, he was employed by General Electric in the accounting department in Schenectady, N.Y. He became discouraged with "Big" business and went to Springfield College where he could pursue his love of sports and a coaching career. Arnold found this love at the Vermont Academy in Saxton River, Vt., a preparatory school where he could coach and teach young talented boys in baseball and basketball. The competition was against other preparatory school teams, Kimball Union Academy, Deerfield Academy, etc. Arnold 's teams were successful and gave these athletes the chance to compete at the college level.
Arnold was not only a coach at Vermont Academy, but a teacher of history in the classroom and was challenged to keep some kind of order in his dormitory! At a later date Vermont Academy gave Arnold a special appreciation night where by his former students and athletes could return and thank him for his work in preparing them for life after college graduation.
Arnold's teaching career carried over to the Newport, NH High School. In later years, Arnold continued to enhance his teaching abilities by attending the University of Hawaii in Asian studies; getting a degree at his favorite college, Dartmouth, in the Master of Arts Liberal Studies program.
He played baseball with South Royalton and Tunbridge town teams and also with a Schenectady, NY teams. Arnold played varsity baseball at Tufts College and the team played in the first collegiate baseball tournament at Omaha, NB. A few years ago the Red Sox recognized and honored each player on that team on the field at Fenway Park which Arnold attended. He was also a member of the Tufts Baseball Hall of Fame.
Arnie's highlight in coaching baseball was at Bellows Falls Legion team when Carleton Fisk was on the team and young Fisk went on to the major leagues and is in Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
A very happy rewarding time was when he was an assistant coach on the Dartmouth basketball team. Arnold was always talking baseball with former Dartmouth baseball coach, Tony Lupien and other coaches. Dartmouth was a home away from home!
Arnold was always full of energy, was a volunteer helper at the Montshire Museum; a Tunbridge representative to the Two Rivers Regional Planning Commission; member of the Hartford Elks, South Royalton American Legion and the Tunbridge Congregational Church. Arnold was a fierce competitor on the baseball field, the basketball court or the tennis court, just ask his brother.
In his retirement years he was happy to be back at the farm in Tunbridge with his mother and brother and the opportunity to visit special old friends. Home was special for him, however when the farm was sold, he was influenced to go to Valley Terrace, an assisted living facility, and lived there six years. We certainly appreciate the special attention given to him by Gretchen and Peter Stoddard.
It should also be mentioned that Boston was his kind of town: restaurants, Stella's, Make Wirth (saw dust on the floor), old Oyster House-north end, the Jazz joints (plenty of peanuts), of course, Fenway Park, Red Sox and old Boston Garden, Celtics.
Survivors include one brother, Maurice Castagner; one sister-in-law, Shirley Castagner; Pennsylvania cousins and a host of special friends.
A memorial service will be held a the Tunbridge Congregational Church in Tunbridge in June 2018. The interment will be held at the family plot at the Union Village Cemetery. Arrangement are under the direction of the Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea, Vt.