Mary Ann (Myers) Kastning passed away on March 19. She was preceded in death in 2013 by her beloved husband of 67 years, William R Kastning. She was born on a farm in Delta County on April 8, 1921. After attending elementary school on Ash Mesa, she moved with parents William and Edna Myers to Durango where she graduated from high school. Mary Ann was the only child of her family of six to receive a college degree in education from Colorado State College of Education, (now University of Northern Colorado.) She then embarked on a short career as a teacher in a one room schoolhouse in the Florida River Valley east of Durango and, as was the custom of that era, lived with a nearby ranching family. Each morning she rode a horse to school and began her school day by starting a fire in the woodstove. When her fiance Bill came home from WWII they married at the Delta First Baptist Church on March 11, 1946. She left her teaching career behind: too firm in her resolve that being a minister's wife and motherhood should come first. From 1953- 1985 Mary Ann and Bill served churches in Flagler, Austin, Trinidad and Center, Colo., Plains, Kan., and Glenrock, Wyo. From 1967-1978 they were given the role of administering and directing year round camping and retreat programs for the American Baptist Convention at Black Forest Baptist Assembly north of Colorado Springs. Outdoor spiritual education in both an assembly and primitive camping setting was their first love. During this period Mary Ann and Bill made their greatest impact on the lives of many young people and adults as well. They acquired a new name: "Mom and Dad K" and their influence in the lives of so many young adolescents ages ten through college cannot be underestimated.
In retirement they returned to their childhood home of Delta County volunteering in many roles to the Delta and Austin First Baptist Churches.
Mary Ann is survived by her two daughters; Nancy Kastning of Gardner, N. M., Judith Niehues of Flagstaff, Ariz., and son Bill Kastning of Crested Butte as well as eight grandchildren and ten greatgrandchildren. She had a special gift of making each of her grandchildren think that they were her favorite. Not only her grandchildren but also the many other young people she came in contact with will remember her as an extraordinary, loving, kind and empathetic person and that will be her legacy here on Earth.