Sergeant First Class Paul Kenneth “Ken” Castleberry, 84, died peacefully in Rison, AR on January 23, 2021.
SFC Castleberry was born on February 4, 1936 in De Valls Bluff, AR to Sanford and Fannie (Henderson) Castleberry. In 1953, he joined the armed forces and was assigned to Ft. Campbell, KY.
SFC Castleberry married Rose M. Iceman in Lebanon, PA in 1964.
SFC Castleberry’s military career included overseas deployments to Japan, Germany, and Vietnam; and stateside assignments in Redstone Arsenal, AL; Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Bragg, NC; Indian Gap Military Reservation, PA; and Ft. Benning, GA in elite specialty areas such as a Wire Team Chief for Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Military Police and Airborne Jumpmaster.
Throughout his military career, SFC Castleberry enjoyed multiple professional hobbies such as international racing driver winning three international races on the Nuremberg, Germany circuit; parachutist; professional underwater diver and instructor; as well as being an off-duty hours deputy sheriff where he searched for missing persons and stolen vehicles.
He was discharged with full honors in 1973 with over 20 years of service after receiving multiple citations throughout his career including the National Defense Service medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnam Campaign medal w/60 Device; Vietnam Service medal w/2 Bronze Stars, Air Medal, Good Conduct medal (4th award), Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist and Supervisor badges, Parachute and Senior Parachute badges, 2 Overseas Service bars, and Drivers Badge w/bar.
After retirement, SFC Castleberry returned to his home in Arkansas and continued to keep busy becoming a self-employed carpenter. He later began working for BBF Oil Company in Pine Bluff, AR and then retiring from the Arkansas Department of Corrections Boot Camp in Wrightsville, AR as a Drill Instructor.
He is survived by his sons Paul (Susan), Don (Debbie) and Sandy Castleberry (Lorie); his daughter, Deanna Ashcraft (Sam); his grandchildren George (Jessica), Patrick (Stephanie), Dalton, Brooklin, and Trent Castleberry (Morgan); Breanna and Cody Ashcraft; Brian (AshLeigh) and Raechel Ingle; and his eight great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Rose.
Due to current restrictions, a private ceremony with full military honors will take place at the Committal Shelter at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock on Feb. 2, 2021.