Mary Helen Casteen

November 11, 1932 - December 20, 2023
Mary Helen Casteen

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Mary Helen Casteen, beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2023, in her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina. She was born on November 11, 1932, to Charles Rowan and Irene Cox Rowan.

Throughout her life, Mary Helen found great joy in tending to her yard. She was often called upon for her honest opinion and loving guidance by friends and loved ones. She had a special place in her heart for her pets, particularly her cherished companion “JB,” as well as all of her grand dogs.

Mary Helen was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she found solace and community. Her faith was a guiding light that shaped her actions and relationships with others.

Her greatest accomplishment was the love and care she poured into her family. She is survived by her children, Gary Casteen and his wife Jennifer of Wilmington, NC, and Lisa Casteen Barentine and her husband Gary of Mt. Ulla, NC. She also leaves behind two grandchildren, Abbey Casteen and her fiancé Brian Keehn, and Lindsay Casteen and her boyfriend Caj Baker. Additionally, she will be deeply missed by her most beloved grandniece, Jennifer Roberts Griggs.

Mary Helen is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Irene Rowan, her husband Sherrill Nace Casteen (Buster), her brother Donald Rowan, and her sister Betty Croom. While she may no longer be with us in person, her spirit and love will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and cherished her.

A celebration of Mary Helen’s life will take place on Friday, December 29, 2023, at 12:00 noon at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Pastor Brock Meyer, of Trinity United Methodist Church, will officiate the graveside service. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends and loved ones for a time of visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation Chapel, located at 1535 South 41st Street in Wilmington, NC.

Mary Helen Casteen’s memory will forever be etched in our hearts. May her legacy of love, faith, and dedication to family inspire us all to live each day with gratitude and kindness.

The family would like to also extend their deepest heart felt thanks to “The Gods Girls” and to the staff of the Lower Cape Fear Life Center, who supported and cared for Mary Helen and her family.

In the meantime, please join us in expressing your condolences and sharing your cherished memories by visiting our website www.wilmingtoncares.com.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Lower Cape Fear Hospice in memory of Mrs. Casteen.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, located at 1535 South 14th Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. The funeral home can be reached at 910-791-9099.




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  • December 29, 2023
    Kathy Stokle y says:
    Mary Helen I already miss our morning chats. It just doesn't feel right. None of us were ready to say good bye but the Good Lord called you home. I know there will be a great homecoming. There are so many who love you. Buster and JB will be first in line. I love you and Thank you for always being here for me. I was doubly Blessed to have you for a cousin who was also my best friend.

  • December 29, 2023
    Kathy Stokle y says:
    Katszoo16@gmail.com

  • December 29, 2023
    Amy Sanders says:
    I thought a great deal of Mary Helen. I worked with an organization that collaborated with Juvenile Court, where she worked. She was a hard worker, and she always helped me when I was in her office. We became friends, and had many laughs together. I know she will be greatly missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  • December 29, 2023
    Amy Sanders says:
    I thought so much of Mary Helene. I worked with an organization that collaborated with Juvenile Court, where she worked. She was a hard worker, and always helped me when I was in her office. We became friends, and had many laughs together through the years. I know she will be greatly missed. My prayers are with her family.

  • December 26, 2023
    Louis and Sheila Roberson says:
    So very sorry. Lots of laughs and great memories. I know I speak for Louis when I say, she made a huge impact on his life growing up and he will forever remember her as a second mother. Much love to you Lisa , Gary and your families.