Obituary: Betty Jane (Barbeaux) Castagna

March 22, 1927 ~ August 23, 2021

Betty Jane Castagna, 94, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully on Monday morning, August 23, 2021 at Cardinal Ridge Residential Care.

She was born March 22, 1927 in Sturgeon Bay, daughter of the late Frank and Louisa (Corbisier) Barbeaux. After graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School with the Class of 1944, Betty continued her education at Milwaukee State Teacher’s College (now, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee). She graduated in 1948 with a degree in early childhood education. In 1949 she married Gerald Gleason in Milwaukee. She taught school in Port Washington, Sheboygan, and later at the Army Garrison at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico during Gerald’s Army service there. They moved back to the United States where they started raising a family, twin boys born in 1954.  After their divorce in 1969, Betty accepted a position with the Milwaukee Public School District and taught kindergarten until her retirement in 1986. Upon her retirement, she moved back home to Door County. In 1977, Betty married Thomas Walton in Milwaukee and the two shared 18 years of marriage together until he preceded her in death in 1995. In 2002, she married Sam Castagna in Jacksonport and the two were wed for 12 years until he preceded her in death in 2014. She was a member of Wisconsin Retired Educators’ Association and the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary and volunteered at the hospital. Betty enjoyed doing crafts, gardening, traveling, and reading.

Betty will be missed by her sons, Daniel Thomas (Kathleen) Gleason of Potomac, Maryland [their daughters, Susan E. (Ross) Spohn and Katelin G. Gleason] and Brian James (Deborah) Gleason of Appleton, Wisconsin; stepson, Michael (Susan) Walton of Waukesha, Wisconsin [their son, Evan (Nicole) Walton (their children Braelyn, Brennan, and Peyton) and daughter, Andrea (Andre) Cilliers]; stepdaughters, Kathleen (Michael) Hnilicka of DeForest Wisconsin [and their children] and Barbara (Thomas) Pankratz of Phoenix, Arizona [and their children]; stepson, David (Julie) Castagna of Appleton, Wisconsin [and their children]; and several nieces and nephews, and their families.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Louisa Barbeaux; father of her children, Gerald Gleason; husbands, Thomas Walton and Sam Castagna; granddaughter, Lauren Walton; and three brothers and their wives.

Betty’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt and sincere thank you to longtime friend Mary Nuhs and family of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin for all she has done for Betty over the years.

In honor of Betty’s wishes, a private graveside service will be held at Bayside Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest beside her parents.

Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC of Sturgeon Bay are assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Betty may be shared through her tribute page at