LASALLE — Max E. Castner, 96, of LaSalle passed away Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at St. Margaret's Hospital in Spring Valley.
He was born Jan. 6, 1918, in Princeton to Rueben and Hazel (Strong) Johnson and later adopted by his aunt and uncle, Frank and Jennie Castner. He married Janet Wickey Castner on May 12, 1946. She preceded him in death.
Max was a member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Princeton, where he was actively involved on the church council and council president. He was an avid golfer and loved to play pitch. He was a member of the Board of Education of Princeton High School and served as board president for several years.
Max enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 and was a captain that flew 17 bombing missions as the co-pilot of a B24. On April 8, 1944, their plane was shot down and he was a POW in Stalag Luft I for 13 months. Upon his return from the war Max and his brother, Gail, ran the airport that was located at City County Park. He ran Castner Steel Buildings until his retirement. He was also on the Township Board for 32 years.
Max is survived by three children, Jonathon (Cathy) Castner of St. Louis, Mo., and David (Pam) Castner and Linda (Jeff) Berry, both of Princeton. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Christopher Castner and Amy (Dave) Whisler, both of Florida, Michael (Tara) Robinson of Princeton, Kyle (Allison) Castner of Champaign and Sean Castner of Chicago; and five great-grandchildren, Nicole and Molly Whisler of Florida, Chase Castner of Champaign, and Aiden and Liam Robinson of Princeton.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet; his parents; and one brother, Gail M. Castner.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Princeton with Pastor Scott Schmidt officiating. Burial will follow in the Oakland Cemetery, Princeton.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, at the Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton.
Memorials may be directed to St. Matthew's Lutheran Church or Gateway Services.
Online condolences may be submitted at www.norbergfh.com.