Cover photo for Colonel John M Castleberry, US Army (Retired)'s Obituary
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Colonel John M Castleberry, US Army (Retired)

April 21, 1942 — July 25, 2023

Cheltenham, Pennsylvania

Colonel John M Castleberry, US Army (Retired)


Colonel John M. Castleberry, US Army (Retired) died July 25, 2023. 

He will be dearly missed by family and loved ones for his warmth, sense of humor, courage, integrity, love of family, country, and University of Alabama Football.

Colonel Castleberry was the Assistant Deputy Commander/ Chief of Staff, Defense Personnel Support Center, Defense Logistics Agency.  Philadelphia, PA.

John was born in Jacksonville, Florida to Daytha and Paul Castleberry. He is the younger twin brother, of Bonnie Lilly. He is preceded in death by siblings, Paula Williams and Paul U Castleberry.  

John graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1965.  He received a commission through the Reserve Officers Training Camp Corps as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps.  He completed his master’s degree from Jacksonville State University in 1970.  In 1984, he attended Senior Service College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, at Fort McNair, Washington D.C.

After receiving his commission in 1965, he attended the Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia.  He then attended Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia; the Aerial Delivery Rigger Course; and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, 3rd Battalion, 508th Airborne Infantry in Panama, Canal Zone.  After a two-year assignment, in 1967 he was reassigned to the Republic of Vietnam and completed a one-year combat tour as a U.S. Advisor, MACV TEAM 35 NHA TRANG, Vietnam.  In 1968 he attended the Advanced Course at Fort Lee, Virginia and was assigned to the 548th Supply and Service Battalion, Fort McClellan, Alabama.  In 1970, he was assigned as the Company Commander, 549th Airborne Aerial Resupply, in Okinawa.  The unit later deployed to Vietnam in support of the 1975 Easter Offensive at An Loc, where it accomplished the highest aerial resupply tonnage ever during combat operations. 

Upon redeployment to Okinawa, he was selected as the Army Deputy Team Chief for “Operation Homecoming” and deployed to Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, for the repatriation of Army prisoners- of- war in which he accomplished three escort missions from Hanoi, North Vietnam.  He was subsequently selected as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Japan, and was assigned to Headquarters, XVIIIth Airborne Corps, Rapid Deployment Force, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the Logistic Contingency Plans Officer.

In 1977, he was reassigned to the Army’s Military Personnel Center in Alexandria, Virginia where he worked in the Joint and Special Assistant Brand and Chief Quartermaster Branch, Lieutenant Colonels Assignments.  In 1981, he was assigned as the Battalion command tour.  He also completed a three- year tour at the Defense Industrial Supply Center in Philadelphia as Director of Supply Operations.  In 1988, Colonel Castleberry assumed command of the 45th Support Group, Hawaii and completed a two-year command before joining Defense Personnel Support Center, Defense Logistics Agency in August 1990.

Colonel Castleberry’s military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Start, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, with oak leaf clusters.  Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, the Vietnamese Honor Medal First Class, the Master Parachutist Badge, Airborne Rigger Badge, and the Republic of Vietnam Parachutist Badge. 

He was promoted to Colonel with a date rank of May 1, 1987. He retired after 30 years of service to our country in September, 1995.

After retirement, John took pride and joy in family life and The University of Alabama football.  

He is survived by his wife, Beth Castleberry (nee Heiser); 2 Daughters, Amy Castleberry and Cristi Perry; Grandson, Chandler Crenshaw; Twin Sister, Bonnie Lilly; and his beloved English Bulldog, Ozzie Castleberry. He is also survived by Mother-in-law, Charlotte Heiser; Brother-in-law, Dean Heiser.

Memorial services will be held Sunday, August 6, 2023 at 3:30 PM at GOLDSTEINS’ ROSENBERG’S RAPHAEL-SACKS SUBURBAN NORTH, 310 2ND Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966.  Shiva will be observed at the Castleberry home through Tuesday evening.  Contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Colonel Castleberry’s final resting place will be in his home state of Alabama, at the Coosa Valley Baptist Church, with full military honors.


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Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, August 6, 2023

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Eastern time)

Goldsteins Rosenberg's Funeral Directors Suburban North

310 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966

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